A wealth of wildlife wisdom

TV wildlife star Chris Packham, Metro Mayor Dan Norris and Lord lieutenant Peaches Golding joined photographers, filmmakers and teachers to officially launch a new chapter in the West of England’s natural history story. 

The audience at Bristol’s The Station, got a first look at the new Wildscreen ARK created by Bristol conservation charity Wildscreen. 

From the Atlantic puffin to the zebra spider, Wildscreen ARK is a free, large (and growing) multimedia resource.  It documents the amazing lives of plants and animals. Aimed at secondary schools,  pupils and teachers can download high quality images, videos and authenticated factual information from what will be the world’s largest collection of natural world imagery and video content.

Bristol schoolchildren are among the first to test the system and benefit from all the resources, before it gets rolled out nationally. 

The project is the successor to ARKive which was retired in 2019. ARKive, created by Christopher Parsons, a founding member of the BBC Natural History Unit documented the lives of 16,000+ endangered species.

 Speaking at the launch Dan Norris said: “In the midst of a climate and biodiversity emergency there has never been a greater need for young people to feel connected to nature. Wildscreen ARK is a fantastic resource. It does what our region does best: care about our planet and be brilliant at recording it.”

Thirty five per cent of all natural history content globally is made in the West of England while a staggering 800 million people each month watch digital content produced in the region.  

The Mayor continued: “I was blown away by some of the imagery so I’m sure students will be too. It’s also really well timed ahead of the new Natural History GCSE course, starting next year.”

 Visit the website at: https://www.wildscreenark.org/

Photo: Weca’s Roger Hoare with Chris Packham, Peaches Golding and Dan  Norris