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Wildlife project created by Askham Bryan College students is shortlisted for award



Askham Bryan College students’ efforts to protect insects have been recognised in a new award scheme championing projects across the British Isles that restore wildlife.


The College in York is a finalist in the Great British Wildlife Restoration competition, which shines a spotlight on projects that aim to tackle the drastic decline of native species.


The specialist land-based college is one of 22 organisations shortlisted by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the only one in Yorkshire.


Designed by animal management students, the College’s pollinator project aims to conserve native butterflies, moths and bees by creating plant beds designed for each target species.


The project has been developed at the College’s Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park, which is accredited by BIAZA and has 144 different species. The park is a teaching facility in term time and open to the public at weekends and during the holidays.


Students have planted 10 zones. They have chosen plants that specifically target each of the 10 key focus species of pollinators that they identified were missing or low in numbers across the college after conducting surveys.


The students have also designed and displayed information about the project to enable all students and visitors to learn about the importance of the UK’s pollinators in maintaining biodiversity nationally.


Jo Richards, Curriculum Area Manager, Animal Management, Askham Bryan College, said: “Students have created the pollinator project to allow high priority species to thrive. We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award.


She added: “It is crucial that we educate and train our students in the skills to respond to current and future challenges for the environment. The knowledge and skills that they have gained through this project will also benefit them in their future conservation-based careers.”


The announcement coincides with Colleges Week 2023, running from 9th to 20th October, which celebrates the positive impact that further education colleges have on their students, employers, local communities and economies.


Dr Jo Judge, Chief Executive Officer, BIAZA, said: “We have an extraordinary shortlist of projects. They demonstrate that zoos and aquariums are not just saving exotic species but supporting wildlife on our doorstep.


“We have to treasure the nature we have and help it thrive. It should be widely known that BIAZA zoos and aquariums are doing just that. It’s a source of hope and something we can all be proud of.”


BIAZA’s Great British Wildlife Restoration competition is inspired by Sir David Attenborough’s Wild Isles BBC TV series.


The other shortlisted projects include organisations helping thousands of animals, habitats and ecosystems such as red squirrels, oysters and glow worms.

A new report from the State of Nature Partnership shows British wildlife is in decline and needs serious help. The State of Nature report showed 1,500 native species are at risk of being lost and one in six species are at risk of extinction.


Askham Bryan College will be invited to an awards evening at the Houses of Parliament in January 2024.


To find out more about courses and upcoming open events on 18th October, 11th November and 25th November, please visit www.askham-bryan.ac.uk #LoveOurColleges



About Askham Bryan College

• Askham Bryan College is one of the largest and fastest-growing specialist land-based colleges in the UK with more than 4,000 students and approximately 650 apprentices based at sites across Northern England. The College specialises in rurally-focused education and offers full and part-time further and higher education programmes.

• Courses include agriculture, animal science and conservation, arboriculture and forestry, engineering, equine, horticulture, motorsport, uniformed public services, sports coaching and veterinary nursing. Apprentices further their skills through work-based learning with the College’s many industry partners.

• The College’s main campus is based near York. It has other campuses at Middlesbrough, Saltaire, Gateshead and Wakefield. Visit https://www.askham-bryan.ac.uk/. Follow @AskhamBryanCollege on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok and @AskhamBryan on X (formerly known as Twitter).


About BIAZA

• The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is a conservation education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body representing the responsible zoo and aquarium community in the UK.

• BIAZA zoos and aquariums have global impact, participating in over 800 conservation projects, 1,400 research projects and contributing more than £24 million a year to field conservation. With over 30 million visitors being welcomed annually, BIAZA zoos and aquariums are recognised as offering a fun and safe way to learn about animals and together the community delivers formal education sessions to more than 1 million students.

• BIAZA and its members are a powerful force in the care and conservation of the natural world. Collectively, they endeavour to inspire people to protect our planet’s rich biodiversity, deliver high quality environmental education, training and research whilst achieving the highest standards of animal care and welfare. Visit www.biaza.org.uk


Media contacts:

• Mary Hampshire, Public Relations Consultant, Askham Bryan CollegeEmail: mary.hampshire@askham-bryan.ac.uk. Telephone: 07985 779078.

• For more details or to request high resolution images, please contact:Andy Hall, BIAZA Communications and Public Affairs Senior OfficerEmail: Andy.hall@biaza.org.uk. Telephone: 07394 388645.

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