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Our new partnership with Barratt David Wilson Homes

March 25, 2024

We’re excited to announce a new partnership that will enable up to 250 Hampshire school children from more urban areas to visit Marwell Zoo.

The partnership with Barratt David Wilson Homes (BDW) Southampton, will give more children an opportunity to connect with nature outside the classroom.

Spending time amongst nature is shown to benefit wellbeing, reduce stress and minimise anxiety as well as promoting physical health through outdoor activities.

Interacting with the natural world can also stimulate cognitive development, foster emotional regulation, and promote social connection.  

Marwell Zoo welcomes more than 33,000 children from approximately 680 schools each year. It is hoped this new partnership will enable even more children to enjoy the wildlife and open spaces.

Zeno Wijtten, Head of Social Impact and Learning said: “At Marwell, we believe in inspiring through experiences that are both educational and unforgettable.

“We recognise that the crises of climate change, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss demand urgent action.

“By nurturing partnerships like the one with BDW Southampton, we are taking proactive steps towards addressing these challenges and helping connect people with nature.”

Megan Hamlyn, BDW Southampton, said: “Our ambition is to become the UK’s leading sustainable housebuilder and we’re doing all we can to protect the environment and nature of the places in which we build.

“We are already working above national standards for biodiversity net gain at our developments, which means we are creating new habitats for birds and other wildlife to live in harmony among our residents. 

“This is the perfect partnership for us as we are passionate about spreading the importance of climate change and helping the next generation understand how we can all do our bit to protect the planet.”

The 250 funded school places will be available to children at school in Southampton, Portsmouth and Gosport and schools that have not previously visited the zoo.

The visits will include educational workshops delivered by our Education Team, and lunch for the children attending.

As well as supporting education opportunities at the zoo, BDW Southampton’s support will help Marwell Wildlife’s conservation efforts and mission to facilitate nature’s recovery.

For more information about this partnership or to discuss how you can support us, contact Michelle Duma, Head of Fundraising at Marwell Wildlife at fundraising@marwell.org.uk.