Audiences, Policy & research

Explore the impact of The Wild Escape in our evaluation

Children doing activities
The Wild Escape activities at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens for Earth Day 2023.

Today we’ve published the key findings from our evaluation of The Wild Escape, a major project which brought together over 500 museums and thousands of young people to explore the subject of UK biodiversity loss.

Taking place over the first half of 2023, The Wild Escape was the largest ever collaboration between UK museums.

A total of 530 museums, galleries and historic houses took part, together enabling over 103,000 young people to participate in this major creative project, which harnessed the art and objects in museum collections to start conversations about UK nature, wildlife, and biodiversity loss.

Working with the Audience Agency, we have now published our evaluation of the project, with the Executive Summary available to read here.

Aimed at 7-11 year olds, The Wild Escape was inspired by the animals found in artworks and objects throughout the UK’s diverse collections. Young people chose their favourite creature, researched its natural habitat and, through the power of art, ‘released’ their creatures back to the wild. Their creations featured in museum displays, classrooms and in a special collective digital artwork, The Wild World, created by award-winning games studio PRELOADED.

The Executive Summary explores the project’s aims and findings, including how it helped to bring schools back into museums post-pandemic and give young people learning tools to understand biodiversity issues.

The Wild Escape was made possible with support from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants, with additional support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Kusuma Trust, Foyle Foundation and a group of generous individuals and trusts.

Overall achievements of The Wild Escape include:


  • 530 participating museums, galleries and historic houses

  • 103,000 young people participated in workshops

  • 1.1 million people engaged in museums on Earth Day

  • The digital collective artwork, The Wild World, won a prestigious Lovie award for its connectivity. The awards recognise European Internet excellence in the fields of culture, technology and business.


  • 16.9 million social media reach and 12.1m reach on billboard sites across the UK including Piccadilly Lights and King's Cross, London

  • 99% of museums said they achieved their aim to build relationships with schools 

  • 48% of museums worked with schools that were new to them


  • 82% of families said that their experience of The Wild Escape activities had made them more likely to visit the same museum again in the next 12 months, and 77% said that it had made them more likely to visit other museums in general

  • The Wild Escape helped to develop new skills in young people, with 92% of the surveyed teachers agreeing or strongly agreeing that their pupils had developed new skills as a result of their Wild Escape workshop

  • 94% of teachers agreed that their pupils had learned something new about biodiversity loss

  • 73% of museums, galleries and historic houses connected or built relationships with organisations outside their sector

The Wild Escape was inspired by the BBC’s Wild Isles, and delivered with partners including WWF, RSPB, National Trust, English Heritage, and BAFTA-winning games studio PRELOADED. The project was supported by leading artists including Rana Begum, Monster Chetwynd, Jeremy Deller, Es Devlin, Heather Phillipson, Tai Shani, Yinka Shonibare, Bob and Roberta Smith, FKA Twigs and Mark Wallinger, who made their own works to inspire young people and celebrate their favourite collections.

To find out more about the project's aims, impact and learnings, read The Wild Escape Evaluation: Executive Summary here.

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