A time capsule has been ceremoniously buried to mark the UK’s newest and biggest bear attraction here at Wild Place Project.
The one-foot high steel container was lowered gently into place inside the new Bear Wood exhibit, by the Sultanah family from Easton.
Bear Wood is due to open this summer. It will give visitors the chance to see European brown bears, wolves, lynx and wolverine in their natural habitat, where they would have once lived in the wild, for the first time in hundreds of years.
The time capsule, presented to us by Dribuild Group, who built the exhibit, contained animal biographies, a painted model bear, environmental documents reflecting the world in 2019, a photo of a mural painting on a Bristol wall featuring Swedish climate change activist, Greta Thunberg, and a selection of conservational wishes for the future from Wild Place Project staff and visitors.
Kumar Sultanah, along with her children, Zainab, Zain, Aminah, Zara and Zia, were chosen to lower the capsule into the ground by Bristol charity Imayla, which offers fun and learning opportunities for young people families and groups inspired by the natural environment.
Wild Place Project ran a scheme for Imayla last year called Wild Detectives and will be teaming up with them again this summer on a wellbeing programme.
Fiona Castle, director of Imayla, said: “We are thrilled to play a part in the opening of Bear Wood. It’s amazing to know that, one day, when the time capsule is discovered, people will know about our involvement and our charity’s mission.
“Wild Place Project is such an iconic place and one that celebrates our aims of bringing together people and nature, making connections across cultural, artistic and physical divides.”
The time capsule was buried just a few yards from a time chamber which forms the entrance to Bear Wood and takes visitors on an audio-visual trip back in time to 8,000 BC telling the story of the woods in which it stands.
Nigel Simpson, head of operations at Wild Place Project, said: “This is a special way to celebrate our work finishing at Bear Wood. It will give people discovering the time capsule in the future a wonderful insight into the thinking behind Bear Wood, our mission to educate current and future generations about conservation, and celebrate our local woodland.”
Matt Tyler, group managing director at Dribuild Group added: “This has been a fantastic project to construct and we’re delighted to have marked this special milestone in the development of the new Bear Wood exhibit.”
Wild Place Project is run by Bristol Zoological Society who also owns Bristol Zoo Gardens. It is a conservation and education charity that relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.