As part of the programme, students were trained as visitor engagement volunteers and gave their time on Saturdays and Sundays to help engage with our zoo visitors and become part of the Chester Zoo family.

During the process, students spent time with some of our volunteers and various staff members from Discovery and Learning, Marketing and Fundraising to understand what it takes to put together an effective public campaign to engage audiences in conservation.

Over 12 weeks the students found out about our core campaigns about Illegal Wildlife Trade, Sustainable Palm Oil and Wildlife Connections.  They also gained multimedia skills like animation and film making as well as learning about social media and marketing.

As part of gaining their Duke of Edinburgh award they were asked to use all this knowledge to create their own campaign materials. They had free choice as to how they went about this – and the results are amazing!

Some students worked in groups and others as individuals – but each found interesting ways of sharing their conservation messages through film, dance, animation and song.

The following films were produced by the Duke of Edinburgh participants:

The 12 weeks culminated with a celebration event at our newly refurbished Oakfield House where everyone got an opportunity to showcase their projects to friends, family and Chester Zoo staff.

Each participant was presented with their certificate by Chester Zoo’s Science Director, Dr Simon Dowell.

We are continuing our collaboration with Upton High School to offer the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme at Chester Zoo in 2019. ​