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Our mission is to educate as well as conserve, here at the Trust we pride ourselves in our ability to deliver conservation education on many levels; through visitor visits, special events held at the Trust and out in the community, press activity, schools and school visits as well as through our involvement with work experience students, internship programme and volunteers.

During 2013 we introduced Forest School as well as daily Keeper talks and from 2014 we are delighted to extend our repertoire of experiences to include children from the age of 8 with valuable opportunities such as Junior Keeper for the day and shorter encounters with our lemurs and meerkats.


The small zoo making a BIG difference

Our small size means that as well as giving formal talks and guided tours to visiting groups from local schools, colleges and community groups, we can also talk informally to our visitors on a one-to-one basis about the animals and the work of the Trust.

Enclosure and zoo design input  |  Family Fundays (bi-annual) with the South West Herpetological Society

Outreach talks and encounters  |  Training opportunities – work experience, research & volunteer placements

Regular press releases to local and national media  |  Formal education provision to schools and visiting groups


Shaldon Zoo out and about in the community

Schools - Talks and visits

We visit many educational establishments from pre-schools / primary /secondary schools to referral units and special needs schools. We provide educational support for national curriculum topics found within the Desirable Learning Outcomes for nursery education through to Key stage 3 in Secondary Schools.


Find out more about what we do or arrange a School visit...

Talks and visits

We are often out on the road and are available to attend your school or club to give a variety of talks and presentations on the history, conservation work and role of the Trust in the community. All talks can be tailored to your requirements and can be booked through our education department. School talks can be linked with the National curriculum.

Email us via info@shaldonwildlifetrust.org.uk to arrange a school visit or to find out about running a Conservation Education project in your school.


Forest school

"Forest school is an inspirational process that offers children and young people opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment."

We are ideally situated for these sessions being surrounded by the Ness woodlands. Sessions can be booked with our education department and tailored to the needs of your group. We also run these sessions for those with learning and behavioural problems.

Examples of activities:

Making a sticky crown.  The children are given a strip of card with double sided sticky tape on and asked to find materials in the wood that are a certain colour, have texture or they can collect anything. Then make this into a crown.This a great activity for an early session, getting the children out in the woods, exploring their environment.

Making a Leaf press. The children will make a leaf press from discs of hazel wood. They will saw the discs (duel sawing with an adult), choose a leaf to place in the middle and secure the disks together. This can be done in all weather conditions, as we can use the Education building if raining.

Making a Minibeast home. The children will make a home for minibeasts from cylinders of elder wood. They will saw the lengths, remove the pith and whittle the bark. Again not a weather dependent activity.

Making a whistle. The children will make their very own whistle from a tube of elder that they will saw, remove pith and whittle. This activity is for when they have gained confidence in tool use and again can be done in all weather conditions.

Den and Shelter building. Great fun for all! 

Safe Fire Craft

Email us via info@shaldonwildlifetrust.org.uk to find out more about our fantastic Forest School sessions and courses.


Animal encounters

Animal encounters are an important part of education, on our bi-annual Funday the South West Herpetological Society join us to give the opportunity for a hands on experience with various reptiles. They have been doing this for over 8 years and make a valuable contribution to our 'Funday' visitors experience.

On a normal day visit you may not be able to let a Burmese ball python give you a hug but you will be able to feed meerkats, go nose to nose with an inquisitive Emperor tamarin and see at very close quarters the antics of many of our animals. Many of our enclosures have special windows and where possible they are set to make it easy for children to view the antics of the animal.



Look out for our new mascot Marvin on your visit. Marvin features on our new signage, giving interesting and fun facts for children.marvin_net.png


Our aims

Our Education objective is to increase awareness, knowledge and understanding about animals, conservation and the environment to visitors. As an active member of BIAZA and EAZA, Shaldon Wildlife Trust aims to inspire our visitors to care about and understand animals, their habitats and the threats they face in the wild and to allow visitors to experience and learn about wildlife at first hand.


" ... for education programmes to be successful, zoo animals must be exhibited
in the best conditions in enclosures that enable them to lead near natural lives
and to participate in natural behaviours as far as possible "                            



BIAZA / Federation of Zoos Education Standards Guidelines