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Press Blog

Fota Wildlife Park receives Sandford Award

Fota Wildlife Park is delighted to announce that it has been chosen as a recipient of the Sandford Award in both Ireland and the UK in recognition of the standards set by our Education Department. 

Having previously attained a Sandford Award in 2008, the award provides a ‘kite mark’ for high quality education provision which is recognised by schools and other education institutions across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The Award is granted for a period of five years and each site must then reapply to be assessed by a panel of independent judges. The Sandford Award assessment stipulates that awardees must show a comprehensive understanding of relevant local and national heritage, and offer excellent educational resources and facilities that really enhance the quality of the student’s visit. 


Lead Judge of the Heritage Education Trust, Gareth Fitzpatrick commented:“With an education service of exceptional quality, Fota Wildlife Park well deserves a further Sandford Award in 2013. This award reflects a commitment to quality and constant improvement with a flair for innovative new programmes. The high standard of content of the schools’ programmes, combined with sensitive use of real specimens and handling materials allows students of all ages to discuss the very real issues facing natural environments both locally, nationally and globally. The opportunity to learn about the national heritage -that is the native wildlife of Ireland and its place alongside the global conservation work and research that takes place with the more exotic residents is inspirational. The knowledgeable, experienced and helpful staff  provide all the information needed for teachers and pupils to plan their visit and deliver  programmes that are well balanced to enrich children’s learning. “

The award will be formally presented to Lynda Mc Sweeney Walsh, Head of Education at an official awards ceremony in the UK in November.