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Genomics Forum · News

Edinburgh young people to engage with nature conservation



Come along and watch our conservation-themed pantomime!


A group of young people from North Edinburgh are set to become exponents for nature conservation, thanks to the culmination of an innovative project involving The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh-based Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Lyceum Youth Theatre Discover Programme, North Edinburgh Arts and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

The young people – aged between 9 and 12, and from the Muirhouse, Pilton and Granton areas of Edinburgh – have been working with conservation experts to learn about the importance of saving endangered species and habitats. The project – which is unique in its involvement of Edinburgh’s leading academic, conservation, and performing arts organisations – will culminate with the young people informing their local communities about conservation issues, through the performance - on Saturday 26 January - of a pantomime they have developed with the support of North Edinburgh Arts. The children will also undertake a “behind the scenes” visit to Edinburgh Zoo as part of the project, in order to learn about endangered animals first hand.

Speaking in advance of Saturday’s conservation-themed pantomime, project coordinator Naomi Webster – who is currently a visiting research fellow at Edinburgh University’s ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, and works as Education Officer for the Jersey-based Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, said:

“Young people have a natural interest in animals and wildlife, but often don’t realise just how endangered many creatures are or how organisations like Durrell and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland are working to save them from extinction. This project has enabled us to work with children in an innovative way to help them appreciate the importance of nature conservation, and to allow them to show their families and communities what they have learnt, by producing and performing their own conservation-themed pantomime.”

Commenting on the innovative nature of the project, Kate Wimpress, Director of North Edinburgh Arts, said:

“North Edinburgh Arts works with young people throughout North Edinburgh, through creative initiatives such as drama workshops, to encourage them to explore issues and develop understanding. Collaborating with the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Zoo and the Lyceum Youth Theatre on this initiative has enabled us to help young people to gain a greater understanding of conservation in an engaging, yet fun way.

“I know our young performers are very excited about both their trip to the zoo, and producing and performing their own conservation-themed pantomime.”


Durrell panto