LEADING conservation charity Wildscreen has announced the return of their renowned and much-loved platform Wildscreen ARK, the world’s biggest online nature education hub, which will launch in early 2024.
Wildscreen ARK provides young people, who have a pivotal role in our response to the biodiversity and climate crises, with the resources to grow their knowledge and passion for nature and discover ways they can support and protect it.
Wildscreen ARK is generously funded by The Linbury Trust with additional support from The Garfield Weston Foundation. The organisation has been working with Bath-based software development agency, Rocketmakers, to develop the ARK prototype which is providing additional pro bono support through their Collaboratorium fund. The prototype will focus on UK species and content and it will be the foundation for Wildscreen’s test and learn process, working hand-in-hand with its key user group, young people aged 13-18, to help make it relevant, inspiring and useful to them.
Recent findings by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust discovered that young people, aged 7-13, are becoming less connected with nature. Other studies show that this demographic struggles to identify the most basic species, including blue tits and oak trees. By providing the new and improved ARK, Wildscreen is hoping to help young people fully see and understand nature so they are empowered to make choices that nurture it.
Lucie Muir, CEO of Wildscreen, said:
“The need to connect young people with nature has never been greater. We’re hoping that the return of Wildscreen ARK will be the catalyst to inspire the next generation to have a greater sense of curiosity about nature and feel empowered to take action to protect it.
“The project, which was retired in 2019, has been sorely missed by contributors, educators and young people, and so we’re delighted to bring it back at this crucial time.”
The original version of Wildscreen ARK, ARKive, created by Christopher Parsons, a founding member of the BBC Natural History Unit and Wildscreen, was a huge, free, multimedia project documenting over 16,000 endangered species with over 100,000 videos, photos and authenticated fact files. At its peak, it attracted over 12 million unique users per year and its educational resources had over a million downloads from Times Educational Supplement.
In anticipation of the relaunch, Wildscreen is looking for new content to enrich the platform, as well as individuals and organisations from the spheres of wildlife filmmaking, conservation, science and education, to partner on the project.
Recently, Wildscreen launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund and develop the educational and conservation features of ARK and its in-school delivery to teachers and students.
To find out more about Wildscreen ARK, please visit: www.wildscreenark.org/.