Creativity meets conservation

30 January 2023

Creativity Meets Conservation

Born Free’s Education Officer, Charlie Baker, discusses the importance of Born Free’s Creative Nature Programme, which nurtures children’s creativity whilst supporting studies in conservation and welfare issues.

Artist, John Dyer, stands in the rainforest, painting the scene around him. His canvas is covered in colourful plants and trees.

We all learn differently. What makes sense to some, can sometimes seem like another language to others, so it’s important to recognise that when it comes to education, it’s not one size fits all.

Charlie Baker, Education Officer

I loved studying biology in school yet struggled as soon as numbers or statistics entered the equation. No matter how hard I tried, something never quite added up in my brain and at times studying became a struggle. Fortunately, I was able to explore my passion for biology and wildlife through another subject – art. Drawing and painting wildlife empowered me to follow my passions and learn all about the natural world in a way that suited my learning style.

This is where our Creative Nature Programme comes in. Working with creative partners, Born Free has created a range of innovative teaching resources, workshops and webinars which ignite students’ creativity through art, drama and immersive experiences. Each of our creative partners brings something different: painting, drawing, drama, dance, yoga and even outdoor education. These different art forms and experiences allow us to channel young people’s creative side, enabling them to delve into often complex and scientifically based topics in a way that suits different learning styles.

Creative Nature is not just for kids!

It’s never too late to learn, and that’s why we are inviting our older supporters to get involved too, and discover more about Born Free’s work in Kenya through our Last Chance to Paint project.

Artist, John Dyer will be travelling to Kenya, painting the plants, wildlife and local communities he encounters along the way. John is one of Cornwall’s best known contemporary artists, and is the artist in residence for the Eden Project and an official Artist for the Earth with

You can join us online for a night with artist John Dyer, live from Kenya, hosted by Born Free Patron Dan Richardson, on Thursday 2nd March 2023 at 6pm (GMT). Find out more about the Last Chance To Paint project, Born Free’s work in Amboseli National Park, and the amazing people and animals John has and will be meeting along the way.

“Working with creative partners, Born Free has created a range of innovative teaching resources, workshops and webinars which ignite students’ creativity through art, drama and immersive experiences.”

Schools and families can also ‘travel’ along with John, following his daily videos and blogs before creating their own painting inspired by his travels. Find out more.

What impact does Creative Nature have?

John Dyer’s Last Chance To Paint Project has reached thousands of children and young people. Through interactive live painting webinars and his art expeditions to wild places, John is able to communicate to students what we stand to lose if we don’t work together to reduce our impact in order to protect the planet and its wildlife.

Biro artist Jane Lee McCracken’s Where Did All The Animals Go? project has seen children from across the globe create over 600 coloured biro drawings of iconic and threatened wildlife, still on display at the Great North Museum in Newcastle. Her recent Chimpanzee Mural Project, which highlights the importance of protecting chimpanzees and their habitats, has reached 60 students from both the UK and California through artistic workshops in partnership with Born Free and Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection, with more workshops planned in Liberia for 2023.

Creative partner Autism and Nature has produced bespoke resources, including hand-illustrated colouring sheets, for SEN students to encourage them to get outdoors and connect with their natural surroundings. These free resources have so far reached an estimated 5,600 students.

Find Creative Nature Resources Here

Image: © John Dyer