Scotland’s new Discovery Center will showcase our wildlife – Beccy Angus

Artist’s impression of the Wildlife Learning Hub.

Sadly, our natural environment is in crisis with a million species on the brink of extinction and nearly half of our ecosystems in decline. The evidence is overwhelming that human activities are behind the rapid decline of nature, caused by deforestation and development, hunting and poaching, the destruction of our seas and oceans, pollution and, of course, the climate change.

As it is, we risk destroying our own survival machine.

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In the face of these threats, we also have an opportunity. Because recognizing that there is no future without nature also means recognizing the need to act now – and together.

A wild cat at Highland Wildlife Park.

As the biodiversity of our planet is declining at an alarming rate, modern zoos and wildlife conservation charities like the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) are more relevant than ever.

At Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, we foster deep and lasting connections with nature, provide safe havens and support breeding programs that are essential to the very survival of endangered species.

Through education, we inspire the next generation of conservationists, while groundbreaking science and research allows us to learn more about the incredible animals in our care and to inform about action to help protect species in the wild around the world.

We are also focusing on native species here in Scotland where we have worked with the Scottish Wildlife Trust to bring beavers back after 400 years and are leading efforts with partners to save the pine hoverfly and prevent cats from becoming extinct. wild.

Beccy Angus, Head of Discovery and Learning at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

We now plan to build the Scottish Wildlife Discovery Center at Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore and create a truly special, world-class experience that will play a central role in inspiring more children, young people and local communities. to protect and connect with nature and wildlife.

We hope to confirm soon the building permit for three centers which have been designed to take visitors on a journey through the stories of the people, places and animals of Scotland, and the connections that bring them all together.

Our Discovery Center will be an immersive experience, asking questions, challenging perceptions and encouraging promises to help protect wildlife and nature. Innovative digital technology will help build stronger bonds and boost engagement for people of all ages.

The Learning Center will enable children, young people and our local communities to experience Scottish wildlife heritage through expanded activity plans including STEAM learning, outdoor learning and citizen science.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland spearheads efforts with partners to save the pine hoverfly

And in the perfect location to make the most of our beautiful setting in the incredible Cairngorms National Park, the hilltop center will showcase the groundbreaking wildlife conservation initiatives currently taking place with a wide range of partners and supporters.

This project will transform our Highland Wildlife Park, encouraging more visitors from the UK and around the world, supporting the local economy and taking action to reverse the growing disconnect between people and nature.

It’s a chilling reality that the world’s biodiversity is rapidly disappearing, but by working together, inspiring and empowering communities, we can make a difference.

The Scottish Wildlife Discovery Center is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and has received an intent to award from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, run by NatureScot and supported by the European Development Fund (ERDF), alongside support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, SSE Renewables as well as People’s Postcode Lottery players and many RZSS supporters.

Beccy Angus, Head of Discovery and Learning at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

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