Friday, 29 May 2015

Born Free's Virginia McKenna calls for conservation lessons in schools

'We are messing up the world and it's a catastrophe,' says wildlife campaigner Virginia McKenna, in call for school lessons on conservation

By Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online

7:45AM BST 29 May 2015

Virginia McKenna, the star of Born Free, called for conservation to be a fixed subject on the UK school curriculum, in order to address the "catastrophic mess the world is in".

The 83-year-old actress, who played conservationist Joy Adamson in the Oscar-winning 1966 film, was speaking to The Telegraph before her event at the Hay Festival. She said: "Our world has never been more of a mess than it is right now; it's a landscape of disaster. We need our children to be taught conservation because otherwise they will be disastrously equipped for the grim future we face. We need this to start at a young age, when they are still at nursery school and primary school, where they can learn about the world in a natural, attractive way."

London-born McKenna, who won a best actress BAFTA at the age of 25 for her part in the 1956 film A Town Like Alice, launched the Born Free Foundation in 1991 with her late actor husband Bill Travers. Born Free is an international conservation and animal rights organisation, based in the UK, focusing on wild animals. McKenna added: "There is a Born Free poster campaign at the moment saying 'There's no point in saving the last Rhino'. In the past five years in Mozambique the elephant population has fallen from 20,000 to 10,000. One elephant is killed every 15 minutes. There will be soon none left.

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