Kids Out Visit to Marwell Zoo 12th June 2024

June 12 was National Rotary Kids Out Day and Winchester Rotary supported the District’s efforts at Marwell Zoo through sponsorship of Osborne School.

The day started at 9.00am at the school with a visit from Mayor Russell Gordon Smith and his wife, Dinah. Russell was in full official Mayoral Regalia, and as we made our way to the school hall, a pupil stopped him to ask ‘are you a king?’ Not a bad (or usual) start to his day.

Anyway, Mayor, and Rotary, (represented by myself and Clive Cook), were welcomed and thanked by the Principal Sonia White. The Mayor recommended otter viewing. Then, 37 Year 7 pupils and 21 staff, (teachers, learning support assistants and carers), plus ourselves were packed onto a double-decker bus to set off for Marwell.

Favourite animals for many were the monkeys, meerkats and the giraffes. At one point there was a breakaway attempt by two Sclater’s Crowned Pigeons, (apparently the world’s largest pigeon), who escaped their pen and ran down the path towards a group of squealing children – no injuries, fortunately, so no form filling! One pupil was insistent on seeing spiders who are normally kept at the Cold-Blooded Corner, but sadly the Tarantula was not available, (election duty). The snow leopard was having a shy day too, but we did see the baby hippo.

Lunch was prepared and served by a brilliant Rotary team at Marwell Hall.

A great day was had by all, judging by decibel levels, smiles and laughter, although by the end of the day there were a few tired legs. Back on the bus and as a final bonus, only 21 minutes of school left!

Everyone looking forward to next year …..

Bruce Royston-Smith/Clive Cook

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