Woodlands Animal Sanctuary Education Programme
Education outreach officer Alex Fisher said “At Woodlands Animal Sanctuary we believe education is vital for animal welfare and the future of our country’s wildlife. Giving our younger generation the opportunity to experience animals in a hands-on environment can be an effective form of educational enrichment. Allowing them to empathise with a species can allow them to open their minds to how their decisions can affect others.”
Hedgehogs, as a wild species, are becoming increasingly endangered due to continual destruction and diminishment of their habitat and food sources. With help and support as a breed the “gardener’s friend” ,as they are often known, will be able to thrive in the wild.
Allowing children to experience this species first hand is not only a rare exciting educational opportunity (lets face it how often do you get to see a live hedgehog!), but we also find that children retain a wide and varied range of information which can help save a hedgehog’s life in the future.
In 2014 we increased our outreach efforts and as a result we saw an increase in the number of injured or sick hedgehogs brought to the sanctuary as a result of children who attended one of our awareness sessions. We have rehabilitated over 450 hedgehogs since January 2016.
We currently run two kinds of outreach programmes:
Sanctuary Visits: During a visit to Woodlands Animal Sanctuary children will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about how a sanctuary operates and have the chance to interact with the animals whilst learning how best to consider their welfare. This experience can provide life lessons that we believe are vital to the future of UK wildlife. Visits range from 1 – 3 hours in the afternoon and are tailor made to suit you and your class/requirements.
School Visits: Our staff work daily with each animal and have developed amazing relationships with them meaning they are incredibly knowledgeable about their welfare and conservation. Each school visit can consist of between one and three species of animal, from our hedgehogs, goats, ponies or donkeys!
Brownies, Guides and Scouts
We understand that many groups for young people spend their time working towards badges in groups such as Brownies, Scouts and the Girl-guides. At Woodlands our educational visits offer a great opportunity to help young people achieve their badges. For example, we teach children about hedgehog rehabilitation and endangered animals, helping them to achieve the friend to an animal or animal active badge offered at brownies and the guides.
We believe that the next generation is very important to animal welfare.
The Woodlands Kids Club allows children aged four and above to come to the shelter and learn about their favourite animals including hedgehogs, goats, donkeys, cats and more! With such a large variety of animal the child will have an amazing opportunity to care and experience for a wide range of animals.
For just £5 per month our kids club members will be invited to four kids club days per year. During the day they will take part in a number of activities designed to educate children on the importance of animal welfare.
These include how to save a hedgehog in need and how to care for cats and pets. They will also receive activity sheets to take home and lunch is provided during the day.
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