The British Ironwork Centre has opened a new Extinction Trail designed to inform and educate visitors about a select number of species that are in danger or are under threat of extinction.

The number of animal species threatened with extinction continues to skyrocket every year as a result of human interference and general neglect. The centre has created this permanent educational trail throughout lockdown, aiming to raise better awareness of the extinction crisis and to highlight the importance of doing what we can to conserve our world’s wildlife.

100 Endangered Species

The trail is the first of its kind in the UK and has been inspired by the incredible work that Extinction Rebellion do across the world to raise awareness over the world’s extinction crisis. It is spearheaded by their “Shropshire Woolly Mammoth” sculpture, a life-size sculpture inspired by the great woolly mammoth that roamed our earth thousands of years ago. Alongside the already extinct woolly mammoth sculpture, the trail includes a number of metal animal sculptures modelled after species who are currently considered vulnerable or endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Each sculpture has been placed somewhere across the grounds and includes an information board detailing the animal’s current conservation status, population numbers, and main extinction causes. This is an ongoing project whereby they intend to create the top 100 most endangered species.

The trail has been specifically designed to educate children and young people about the negative effects that our day-to-day actions have on the environment and the animals living within it. It is designed to become a crucial part of their school and youth group trips, offering children the chance to explore the trail and learn a little bit more about how we are affecting our neighbouring wildlife whilst visiting the site for a range of other topics.

Conservation Promise

Once the trail is completed, every child will receive a certificate and be given the opportunity to make a ‘Conservation Promise’ regarding what they believe they can do to save our earth’s wildlife. This promise can include, but is not limited to, conserving energy, reducing waste, improving their recycling efforts, reducing plastic use, not wasting food, and using more energy-efficient modes of transport such as walking or cycling.

A great example of an attraction using existing sculptures (with a few extras) to help highlight important conservation messages.

New Extinction Trail Opens. Bottle Top Giraffes Promote Recycling Activities. (Phots: British Ironwork Centre)

Giraffe Bottletops

The Ironwork Centre is also running a free activity with local schools to promote recycling through the use of their bottle top giraffes. These beautiful wire frame sculptures are loaned out to a school for a month to encourage activities and discussions around waste and recycling. Once finished with the bottle tops are recycled and the empty giraffes moved onto another school to spark talks all over again.

If you would like to get involved in hosting a bottle top giraffe, drop the centre an email: [email protected].

For full visit details and further information about the extinction trail please visit their website: https://www.britishironworkcentre.co.uk

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot