Bristol Zoo are Back!
05 Jun 2017
Bristol Zoo Gardens are once again partnering with Forest of Imagination to help shine a light on the importance of conservation and protecting our environment.
This year Forest will create an engaging and thought provoking series of experiences for all ages but with an emphasis on children and their connection with the natural environment. The project reinforces a renewed interest in the countryside around the city through the Bathscape project and highlights the importance of engaging people, especially children, with the experience of nature and outdoor play.
Bristol Zoo will work with the delightful House of Fairy Tales – the unique educational arts charity and travelling art circus founded by artists Deborah Curtis and Gavin Turk – and Anthony Head, digital artist and creative director of Illuminate Bath, together they will offer an interactive insect workshop inviting Forest guests to discover the life and queen of Yellow Meadow Ants, a species unique to the Bath Skyline.
The theme of conservation and protecting our natural environment is central to the thinking behind Forest, last year’s giant inflatable Baobab trees, were designed to encourage a conversation about the fantastic, forgotten and fragile forests that exist across the world and how we can help to protect them. Bristol Zoo partnered with Forest and alongside, the House of Fairy Tales, engaging the audience, particularly children, in the Zoo’s Madagascan conservation projects through interactive play.
The National Trust is also a key partner in this year’s event and this project will be a real focus for their own promotion for active engagement of children in the countryside.
In 2016, Forest teamed up with Bristol Zoo’s Madagascar Conservation project. The work between Forest and Bristol Zoo is aimed at capturing people’s imagination to consider Madagascar and shine a light on the fragility and threats to the habitats and biodiversity but also the economy and culture of the Malagasy people.
Bristol Zoo’s project captures all of this brilliantly as they are working with the local people to create a new economy based around Lemur tourism and practical conservation.
Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries with over 92% of people living below the poverty line. It is also the only place in the world where lemurs can be found. Local people are being forced to turn to unsustainable livelihood practices to make a living, which in turn is threatening the lemurs’ habitats. As a result, many lemur species are becoming threatened with extinction. We are working to help safeguard three specific species; the blue eyed black lemur, the Sahamalaza sportive lemur and the Sambirano mouse lemurs.
This year’s Forest of Imagination will connect people to nature in a variety of wild and imaginative ways. Forest is open from June 30th until July 2nd from 10am to 6pm each day, Forest of Imagination is free to all.
For directions to Forest check here.