Schools get into the Turtle Fest spirit
Weymouth Sea Life Park will join Sea Life centres across Europe holding ‘Turtle Fest’ turtle festivals this May half term.
Turtle Fest will see the park host a range of fun conservation led activities to raise money for endangered Loggerhead turtles in Greece.
One of the activities taking place at Weymouth Sea Life Park during the week will be an attempt to make the World’s Largest Papier Mache Turtle Shell.
“We wanted children to get hands on making something fun while teaching them about the importance of looking after their environment and recycling” said Richard Dilly, Entertainments Manager.
“Not wanting schools to miss out on the edutainment aspect, we decided to bring the papier mache activity forward a week, so school children could get involved as well.”
“Conservation and caring for the environment is part of the National Curriculum and is an important lesson for children in caring for our planet” Richard went on to say.
School children that visited the Park on Wednesday 25th May also got the chance to meet musician James Kimber of JK Junk Percussion, who made a special guest appearance before he gets ready for Turtle Fest.
James Kimber of JK Junk Percussion said: “As part of my workshops I bring along a unique collection of junk instruments including shopping trolleys, plastic barrels, long gas pipes and dustbins.
“Each child will be given their own safe, clean piece of junk and plastic sticks to play on – everybody has a bash!
“I was happy to get involved with Turtle Fest as it ties in with my ethos of promoting recycling leading to a better understanding of green issues.”
Other specially tailored events taking place for all schools during the week prior to Turtle Fest are tailored talks around turtle conservation and the important work being done in Greece, and a specially designed curriculum based turtle quiz.
In partnership with NGO group Earth Sea and Sky, Sea Life centres are urgently raising funds to build a turtle rescue centre on the Greek island of Zakynthos.
Zakynthos holds the largest number of Loggerhead turtle nests in the Mediterranean and has seen generations of Loggerheads return annually to breed and lay eggs.
The high concentration of gathering turtles results in casualties with turtles being injured in boat collisions, entanglement in fishing gear or swallowing fish hooks.
The nearest turtle rescue centre is currently and eight hour journey to Athens. With many turtles needing emergency treatment, a turtle hospital on the island itself will literally be a lifesaver for injured Loggerheads.
The Sea Life network has raised EUR140,000 towards the rescue centre and aims to raise an additional EUR230,000 in time to get it up and running this year.
Other activities taking place during the official Turtle Fest will not only include the papier mache activity and workshops by Paul Kimber of JK Junk Percussion, but also playing an instrument in our “Recycled Rubbish Band”, a limbo competition, turtle conservation talks, turtle games and a turtle quiz.
Visitors will also be invited to join in Sea Life’s ‘Make a turtle Smile’ campaign and upload a photo of themselves pulling a turtle smile with their forefingers to the ‘Make a Turtle Smile’ facebook page at www.facebook.com/visitsealife.
The official Turtle Fest will run at Weymouth Sea Life Park from 28th May to 5th June. Entrance to Turtle Fest is included in the entrance price. Visitors are advised to check www.sealife.co.uk for further information about activities.