Learning about Conservation and Turtles at The Deep

I have been meaning to get this post up for a couple of weeks now – it is more than a little overdue with it being about a trip we took at the end of the Summer Holidays. But, with an emotionally turbulent back to school, and then trying to get into a new routine and get organised, I just haven’t had the time or mind space to share it! So, I apologise that this seems a bit random, but today’s sunshine has reminded me of this lovely day we had and I hope that you will enjoy sharing in a day out to The Deep in Hull via Train. I felt the kids really got a lot out of it and that it was mostly easy to pull off using public transport!

The Deep by train

We are no strangers to The Deep in Hull and currently have an annual pass (it’s really good value if you plan on visiting a couple of times or more). It was on our “Summer Bucket List” this year and I hoped we might go one weekend as a family. Life however got busy and all our weekends quickly filled up with lots of other trips and family things and so, as the Summer Holidays came to a close, I decided I would just take them on the train! My friend travelled with us and then we did our own things, meeting up to train it home again after!

The trains into Hull are very regular from where we live and having a family and friends railcard too means that it only costs me about the same as my ticket to take all of the kids. So, going by train and taking a pack up, as well as having an annual pass at The Deep certainly made for a cheap and adventurous day out (mum win)!

Walking to The Deep from the train is easily 15 minutes but it is an easy walk across the city and some lovely walkways near the river. I really enjoyed exploring the marina and humber street with kids too, which all added to the adventure of going by train and walking up to it!

Learning about conservation

The Deep is very much an international player in marine conservation and I think at times, being a visitor/tourist to it, you can overlook it’s whole purpose and Ethos and get caught up in it as being an attraction. Its very easy to of course notice the animal care and breeding projects, but they are also pioneers and players in so many other projects too, and this is one of my favourite things to reflect on when at there.

But how do we get our children on board?

With so much talk of plastic in the ocean and endangered sea life, I have often wondered how I could convey some understanding and awareness in my children. It is so easy when we go to places like The Deep to gravitate towards our usual favourites; sitting by the lagoon of light and watching the penguins, or being incredibly curious watching the ants and freaking out in the fossil zone. I’m not saying that any of this is wrong – it makes for a memorable and fantastic time together and day out. But what I am trying to say is that I think the word conservation can seem rather abstract to a child when so overcome with glee at the ocean sites. Thankfully on this visit though they had a “Sea Turtle Hospital” experience and lots of activities about sea turtles. Things like this in attractions like The Deep, give them a hands on learning experience which enables them to really see the damage that can be done to oceans and creatures through plastics, fishing and boats. It was also great for imaginative play for their development, but overall it opened a lot of conversation about rubbish in the sea and injured sea creatures.

At the turtle hospital they had to examine their turtles – removing nets they were caught in, measuring them, listening to them, dressing wounds they had received and then retrieving plastic from them internally! Budding Marine Biologist Megsie was in her element. But the whole hands on experience really brought home to them not only the work The Deep is a part of in helping sea turtles, but just how damaging seemingly innocent every day things can be to the creatures of the sea. It was informative, fun for the kids and a little emotional too to visually see the damage!

With the Turtle Hospital activity, artwork about plastics and other signs they took note of this time, I was grateful that the things that we got out of our visit on this occasion were very much geared towards learning about conservation. I am glad we could see beyond the attraction for a moment and consider the wider world and the incredible work being done. It was a really reflective day for us all and something I hope we can build on in future visits here and to coastlines!

There are lots more things to explore and discover each season and school holiday at The Deep and this is one thing I really love  – each visit brings something new. I am glad we were able to contemplate the effects of plastic in our oceans and learn more about conservation of them this Summer… I hope one day to do one of the beach clear ups with this kids via The Deep too, but we’re always late signing up!

If you would like to plan your visit and see what amazing things you can learn about with your kids, check out the link here. It is a fantastic day out to appreciate our oceans and make memories as a family. If you are fairly local, why not go by train for an extra adventure.

We were gifted our annual pass from The Deep for a long term collaboration with them.

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