What: Chester Zoo’s Wildlife Connections Festival 

When: 16 & 17 September, 11.30am – 4.30pm (both days) 

Where: Chester Zoo’s Nature Reserve  

More: https://www.chesterzoo.org/events/wildlife-connections-festival-2023/  

Cost: Free (does not include entry to the zoo) 

Chester Zoo has announced details of a free family festival, set to return in September.  
The zoo’s Wildlife Connections Festival will be taking place later this month with a jam-packed line-up, headlined by one of the UK’s best-known children’s TV presenters, Naomi Wilkinson.  
Hosted in the zoo’s six-hectare nature reserve, the two-day event aims to connect festivalgoers with nature and raise awareness of precious UK wildlife. Scientists say that more than half of all UK species are now in decline, including hedgehogs, butterflies and wildflowers. 

Person in Butterfly costume at Wildlife connections festival
Popular TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson will deliver an interactive stage show created especially for the festival, focused on how everyone can play their part in helping beautiful British wildlife to survive and thrive. She’ll also be appearing at a meet and greet during both days of the festival.  
Those in attendance will be able to get up-close-and-personal with a wide range of wildlife through an array of hands-on activities, including bug hunting and bird spotting, while there’ll also be live music, workshops and a parade.  
 Holding a small furry animal
No pre-booking is required with guests encouraged to turn up across the weekend.  
Hannah Brooks, the zoo’s Community Engagement Manager, said: 
Our fabulous Wildlife Connections Festival will be bigger and better than ever before this year and we’re over the moon to have one of the UK’s best known children’s TV presenters, Naomi Wilkinson, headlining across both days. Naomi very much shares our passion for protecting all of the wonderful species found right here in the UK and she’ll be delivering a very special interactive stage show highlighting how each and every one of us can do our bit to help ensure a future where these species can survive and thrive.
It promises to be a fun-filled weekend, packed with a whole host of activities. As well as all of the amazing speakers and stage shows, there’ll be live music, wild workshops, parades, facepainting, nature activities such as bug bungalow building and bird spotting and much more besides. 
 Ariel view of Festival
While this is a free-to-enter festival that’s all about having fun and celebrating UK wildlife, there’s a really important message behind it too. We’re in the midst of a global biodiversity crisis with species everywhere becoming ever more at risk of extinction, including here on our doorstep. It’s not too late though to do something about it. There’s still hope and we can all make a difference. We’ll therefore be giving our festivalgoers lots of ideas and inspiration on what they can do to help turn things around for nature. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to what’s sure to be a fantastic, wildlife-inspired weekend.” 
Education specialists from the zoo plan to use the festival to launch a new scheme aiming to encourage people to take conservation action. The zoo’s Champions in Conservation Awards is an innovative new online platform that allows people to earn certificates when they make an effort to conserve wildlife. Certificates can be achieved by learning more about wildlife, doing something physical such as building a bird box, and inspiring or influencing others to get involved in protecting nature. More details can be found at: Champions Awards - What you can do (chesterzoo.org)  
For the full programme of events at Chester Zoo’s Wildlife Connections Festival, visit: https://www.chesterzoo.org/events/wildlife-connections-festival-2023/ 
About Naomi Wilkinson  
Naomi is one of the UK's best known children's TV presenters, recognised for her upbeat persona and daredevil attitude, perhaps best well known for presenting and producing the live Channel 5 Kids show Milkshake!. She has hosted a variety of programmes, for both children and adults, covering nature, adventure, factual entertainment, arts, music and lifestyle. A familiar and trusted voice, Naomi is the proud longstanding president of the Young Peoples Trust for the Environment. She also supports many other causes that have the welfare of children, care for the environment and protection of wildlife at their centre including Plastic Free Schools, The Woodland Trust, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, National Autistic Society and LunchBowl Network. Naomi Wilkinson at Chester Zoo


Chester Zoo
Animal Collection
Giraffes, Chester Zoo

A visit to Cheshire isn’t complete without a trip to the UK’s number one zoo. Chester Zoo is home to over 27,000 endangered and exotic animals based in beautiful, award-winning zoological gardens.



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