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Saturday, July 20, 2024

£6.5 Million Wildlife Discovery Centre to Open at Highland Wildlife Park 

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Visitors to the Cairngorms National Park can now learn about nature and how they can save wildlife following the completion of Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre. 

Based at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Highland Wildlife Park, the £6.5 million project comprises three new buildings, an ambitious community outreach programme and a biodiversity action plan to help protect native species. 

Ben Supple, the wildlife conservation charity’s deputy chief executive, said:

“With one in nine species at risk of extinction in Scotland and a million across the globe, it is more important than ever to engage and inspire people to create a world where nature is protected, valued and loved. 

“We are incredibly proud to open the doors to the Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre project, which includes an interactive exhibition, a hilltop den where we will tell stories about how we work with partners to restore species, and new classrooms to support STEM learning and provide space to engage local communities with the natural world. 

“A fantastic example is how we will place visitors at the heart of conservation as they enjoy 360-degree views of the wildcat breeding centre at Highland Wildlife Park and into the Cairngorms, where wildcats are being released as part of the Saving Wildcats partnership led by RZSS.” 

Funding for the project will deliver new education and community jobs to broaden inclusion and access to nature.

“It will also help protect native species found at Highland Wildlife Park. 

“Access to nature can have tremendously powerful mental and physical health and wellbeing benefits and this project will help more people and communities experience the joys of being close to wildlife,” said Supple. 

“We are very grateful for the funding we have received, which has enabled us to considerably increase the size of our education and community team.

“Our aim will be to reach out to various, diverse communities which experience barriers to accessing nature, including poverty, loneliness and disabilities. 

“The project has also helped to fund a biodiversity action plan to discover and protect native species at Highland Wildlife Park such as the small scabious mining bee.”

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