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Post event report: Who values conservation education?

Icon’s Education Roundtable Event, ‘Who values conservation education?’ took place in January 2020 to explore the current issues facing conservation education in the UK. 

Developed in partnership with Icon’s Conservation Higher Education Institutions Network, the topics for the debate were based on a survey of Icon members in October 2019 which highlighted a wide range of issues from across the profession.

Click here to download the full report

The event brought together stakeholders from across the conservation profession: employers, education providers, funders and representatives from heritage bodies across the UK. They were joined by individuals from across the globe who followed and contributed to the debate on Twitter (#IconRT) during and after the event. The debate focussed around three key questions: 

  • What skills do conservators need?
  • Do we have the right models of training?
  • How do we advocate for conservation?

The purpose of the event was not to define a concrete action plan, but to debate the issues more broadly, and to identify which areas require further investigation, and who needed to be involved in the discussions.  

We encourage you to  read the summary of the discussion and to consider the areas for further investigation that were identified through the day. We’re keen to receive further feedback – and offers of assistance!

In driving forward these important issues, Icon is committed to taking a leading role in supporting and advocating for conservation education. We will continue to maintain oversight of the debate to ensure that the focus and momentum which has been built around this debate is not lost. This work is a key objective under the ‘excellence’ strand of our Strategy 2017-21 and our aim to support multiple pathways into the conservation profession.

If you do have any comments or questions, please email We will also be keeping everyone up to date with the discussions as they progress and making sure there are opportunities for everyone to be involved who wants to be - so watch this space for news in due course!



Lead image: Julia Jablonska ©


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