Wildlife work boosted by widespread Wi-Fi scheme

By on 09/07/2015 in Cllr Trickett, News

Staff at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park are being helped to carry out their daily tasks by Wi-Fi installed as a part of a city-wide Birmingham City Council scheme.

The free public Wi-Fi project has seen hotspots created at 200 public buildings in Birmingham – enabling the public to get online, with staff at many also benefiting in the process.

At the park, employees are taking advantage of the technology by using it to access ZIMS (Zoo Information Management System), a web-based system that enables them to note details of their animals (origin, weight etc.) by smartphone, rather than have to record information by hand before then going back to their office to use a computer there.

This means they are able to save time in their already-busy days at the Pershore Road site, and there is also a reduced risk of mistakes with any data inputted. And for visitors, it is planned to introduce information boards around the site soon, featuring QR codes that will enable people with smartphones to find out more information about the various species at the site.

Les Basford, Manager of the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, said: “The free public Wi-Fi scheme is a win-win for the park, its visitors and our employees.

“When people come to visit, they can use their own devices to carry out research as they go round and upload to social media accounts any pictures or video that they take – making a fun day out even more enjoyable.

“For our staff, it is helping us to refine our processes, so we can spend even more of our time caring for the animals, rather than wasting time logging the same data twice. We are extremely happy to have been selected as one of the sites to benefit from the free Wi-Fi access.”

The Wi-Fi installation, is part of Wireless in Public Buildings, a project delivered by Birmingham City Council’s Digital Birmingham team and the Government’s Super-Connected Cities Programme.

To access the Wi-Fi, visitors need to register just once. In device settings, select hotspot ID ‘BCC_Free_WiFi’ and follow the prompt to register when opening a browser page, this includes providing a mobile number to receive your activation code. Afterwards, the device will connect automatically, not just in one building but in all council buildings that have this public Wi-Fi enabled.

Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, added: “This is a great example of how the Wireless in Public Buildings project can benefit both citizens and the services that the council provides to them.

“We should be looking to maximise every opportunity to add value to our services and I am glad that the arrival of Wi-Fi has been embraced so positively by staff at the Wildlife Conservation Park.

“This will make a fantastic facility and even better one for a family day out.”

To find the nearest council building with public Wi-Fi access, please visit: http://localview.birmingham.gov.uk/freewifi/


Notes to editors

1. Located on Pershore Road, two miles south of Birmingham City Centre, Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park homes a wide range of animals, We are currently full members of BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and full members of EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria). Through these associations we are proactive participants in a number of high profile EEP’s (European Endangered species Programmes). Some species we are working with are critically endangered in the wild ( Aloatran Gentle Lemurs, Yellow Breasted Capuchin Monkeys, Northern Bald Ibis, Utila Island Iguanas, Cotton Topped Tamarins). We are also raising awareness of the plight of species and their habitats through various initiatives such as the ‘cans for corridors’ campaign. Our new name reflects the fact that we are now focused on helping to save endangered species through involvement in the EEP captive breeding programmes and highlight the plight of the world’s biodiversity through our signage, educational talks and campaigns. Activities for schools: The centre provides an ideal opportunity to study many subjects including science, literacy, numeracy and citizenship skills along with offering stimulation for looking at geography, history, art and of course environmental projects. Schools activities are booked through our Ranger Service.

2. The Wireless in Public Buildings project, run by Digital Birmingham, has been funded by central Government money from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The project is being managed by Service Birmingham with technical support from O2 and Cisco.

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