The final stage of a development of a new wildlife park showcasing the best of animal conservation was officially opened at Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park.
The Yorkshire based wildlife and conservation park brings to life the college's vision to inspire and educate the next generation to respect and conserve animals and the environment.
One of the largest projects in the college's history, the Park complements the adjoining two-storey Animal Management Centre which features a range of world wildlife habitats and modern teaching facilities.
There are approximately 1,100 students undertaking animal management courses across Askham Bryan College’s centres in the North of England. The Park, which is based at the York campus, provides a practical learning environment for all of these students.
The Centre and Park are home to more than 100 different species from raccoons to meerkats, hairy armadillos to skunks and from snakes to lemurs. A wetland area has also been developed as a key part of the practical conservation work.
Ms Catherine Dixon, Chief Executive, Askham Bryan College said: “Our aim is to provide an environment for students to learn about conservation and nature. Conservation sits at the heart of our work in educating young people who will become the animal keepers of tomorrow.
“Our students also have the opportunity to engage with the public, who can visit the Park, and share with them their love and respect for the environment, as well as develop their practical and theoretical skills. This includes effective communication when working as rangers showing visitors around the Park. Our facilities are first class and will assist our students in their future careers.”
Students progress to a broad spectrum of careers for example, animal nutritionists, welfare officers, working within organisations such as the RSPB, in conservation research or furthering their studies.
The Animal Management Centre and Wildlife & Conservation Park are also open to the public at various times during the year as part of the college's commitment to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment and providing practical advice on how to do so.
The plaque was unveiled by Dr Kirsten Pullen, Chief Executive of BIAZA, in front of an audience of guests, students and staff which was followed by tours of the Park.
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