Bristol Zoo Project HomeBristol Zoo Project Home

Access to Nature scheme welcomes hundreds for funded zoo visits

Posted on: 13 June, 2024

Since launching in November 2023, our Access to Nature scheme has welcomed hundreds of school children and community members for funded visits to the zoo, helping those most in need of access to nature.

Among those benefiting from the scheme have been school children from some of the most deprived areas of England and Wales, for whom visits to educational attractions both in school or at home are very rare.

Other groups benefiting from the scheme have included asylum seekers and other vulnerable members of the community, living in city centres with little or no access to green space.

Research shows spending time in nature has a significant positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, and the Access to Nature scheme aims to help everyone access those benefits. The scheme also aims to reach school children and engage them with outdoor learning and conservation.

After a visit from community group Bridges for Communities, an organisation that supports families and individuals seeking asylum, the group leader said ‘Access to anything like this is extremely limited. 100% [of beneficiaries] said [the visit] supported their mental health and made them feel more connected to the local community. 83% said the visit helped them meet new people and develop friendships, which is really positive for individuals who are often isolated in hotels.’

In the first 6 months of the scheme, we’ve welcomed 352 school children and 281 adults have had funded visits, and 551 people benefited from a visit with community membership.

Access to Nature is open for applications. Apply here, or spread the word to someone who might benefit.

Access to Nature is funded by donations. Could you help those most in need access an unforgettable experience?

Want to help us save wildlife?

Become a member today for a year of wild adventure, and help protect the animals and habitats you love by supporting our conservation charity.