Schools go free 2023: Celebrating a century of conservation, education and inspiration

The year 2023 marks a momentous milestone for Wild Planet Trust, the charitable organisation that runs Paignton and Newquay Zoo. This year, Paignton Zoo celebrate their 100th anniversary and reflect on a century of dedication to wildlife conservation and education.

To honour the legacy of Paignton Zoo’s founder, Herbert Whitley, and his mission to use the zoo as an educational platform, we’ve been welcoming school groups at both Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo free of charge, as part of our Schools Go Free offer.

This initiative aims to encourage learning about nature and conservation, but also ensure these magical moments are accessible to every pupil, regardless of their financial situation.

From January through to June our zoos have welcomed over 1,000 schools including over 40,000 pupils and teachers. Plus we have plenty more free trips scheduled for the remainder of the year.

A teacher from Our Lady and St. Patrick’s School in Teignmouth commented:

“It’s a really great opportunity for children, especially in the local area. With the cost of living crisis, some families might not be able to afford to go on trips. The fact that the zoo has opened their doors and offered free trips to children means that every child gets the opportunity to go, see the animals and experience a trip with their peers. It’s a really wonderful thing to do.”

We hope that the magic of observing wild animals up close and personal will leave a lasting impression on young minds and encourage a lifelong fascination of the natural world and a commitment to preserve it.

Schools go free ’23

If you’re a teacher and you’ve yet to book your class on to their free zoo trip, we have limited spaces available for the remainder of the year.

This offer is open to pupils from early years to KS4 (3­–16 years old) in usual school hours during term time.