Free zoo visits for schools!

Bowdleflode News No. 15 – August 2019


This is amazing news!  Chester Zoo is one of the great zoos in England.  Its conservation work and preservation of Endangered Species is exceptional and they care passionately about their animals.

They are launching a new scheme called ‘Bringing Learning to Life’ and here are some details:

With over 21,000 animals to see this is an amazing location for your next school trip if you are based in the North West of the UK.  Whether you’re interested in their curriculum linked

workshops, delivered by their very own team of experts, or prefer to lead your own self-guided visit, they have all the information you need for an inspirational day out.


FREE SCHOOL VISITS (November 2019 – February 2020)

Chester Zoo are offering free entry for 42,000 school pupils visiting between 1 November 2019 and 29 February 2020, to broaden the impact of their work as a conservation and education charity, inspiring the next generation of conservationists.

They are welcoming bookings from schools who were unable to go in previous years (2017/18 and 2018/19).  The offer is open to all Early Years and Foundation, through to Year 13 pupils  but independent schools are not eligible to book in the first round.

If your school meets the Terms and Conditions then Chester would love to hear from you.  The number of free places per day is limited so you may be asked to go another day and/or book using their discounted educational rates. Please make sure you read their T+C’s before booking.  For details go to: learning@chesterzoo.org or telephone: 01244 389 444 or 01244 650 205.

Bowdleflodes Question of the Month

What is the world’s largest rodent?

The answer is to be found at Marwell Zoo near Winchester in Hampshire, and it is the Capybara.

Where do they live?

Capybaras are found in most of South America, East of the Andes. They live in a variety of habitats all of which are close to water, including marshes, estuaries, and in dense vegetation alongside rivers, lakes, ponds and streams.



Young capybaras are able to follow their mother and can eat grass very soon after being born. They are weaned by 16 weeks of age and they live in family groups, usually with one male who is dominant and able to mate with all the females.



Capybaras, especially young ones, are preyed upon by many large predators including anacondas, caimans, jaguars and very sadly also by humans. Capybaras always remain alert for predators whilst grazing, and they will give a bark if they spot a threat. Capybaras are strong swimmers, and if they are chased they will head towards water and try to swim to safety.


Conservation and human intervention

The main threat faced by capybaras is hunting for meat and leather, although there are now some commercial capybara farms which have reduced the demand for capybaras caught in the wild.  Capybaras are widely distributed and common in many places, and are found in many protected areas.


They are excellent swimmers.  When they swim only their nostrils, eyes and ears are above the surface.  They sometimes hide in floating vegetation, with only their nostrils above the water and they are able to dive and swim completely underwater.  Capybaras are commonly found in groups of up to 20, but as many as 64 have been seen together.

Please visit them at Marwell Zoo.