ABOUT THE DEEP
The Shaws visited The Deep which is an Aquarium – that’s the short version.
It’s so much more than just an Aquarium! They have an amazing ethos – basically look after our world! Here is a blog post on how great it is and my families experience.
It plays home to over 5,000 animals! Yes, five thousand! From beetles to snails to rays and sharks! Amongst many other threatened species, it is the only aquarium in the UK where you can view the iconic and critically endangered Green sawfish (wow!)
The architecture of the building is awesome, very unique and impressive to view. As part of the regeneration of Hull The Deep has become an internationally recognised landmark and has even featured on a Royal Mail stamp and the building exploits the landscape on which it is built and was inspired by natural geological land formations. Gleaming glass and aluminium thrust into the dramatic landscape on the confluence of the two rivers marking the historic entry to Kingston upon Hull with a brand new future. Plus Access for all.
It overlooks the Humber estuary, was designed by world class architects – Sir Terry Farrell and Partners and opened in 2002 in, what was then, one of the most deprived and unfashionable cities in England.
Below are ten random facts about The Deep I discovered on their website:
1.The Deep is an international player in marine conservation, working on pioneering research schemes to protect the future of our oceans.
2) The Deep has been successful in breeding and culturing a number of species housed within the aquarium – contributing to crucial European Breeding Programmes.
3) Every year The Deep welcomes a small number of students behind the scenes, allowing them to undertake crucial research for their end of year thesis, focusing on the marine environment. Research opportunities encompass levels up to and including PhD and have allowed the students to progress into employment within the research sector both within the UK and out in the field working for species conservation.
4) In 2015 The Deep became the first aquarium in the UK to successfully breed and rear Zebra sharks.
5) The Deep employs a team of committed Aquarists to care for the 5000 plus animals housed within the aquarium. From sharks and stingrays, penguins and turtles to jellyfish and bugs they have their work cut out for them, providing the crucial care they need to thrive.
6) The Deep also employs a specialist vet to oversee the care of our animals. On call 24 hours per day, and with the support of a local veterinary practise, he is on hand to undertake regular health checks and assessments as required.
7) The building was inspired by natural geological land formations.
8) The Deep is a charity dedicated to education and conservation and as such they feel it important to run a green and ethical organisation. You can see their Environmental Policy here.
9) There are touch pool sessions: get hands on with inhabitants of their local shores at Dylan’s Discovery Corner
10) The Deep offer Downloadable Resources on their site which are so fantastic for kids to visit then go home and continue learning (just put an example here)
SOME ACTIVITIES AT THE DEEP
There are a lot of activities happening at The Deep every day to enhance education and fun. These include:
Daily dive presentations! They are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – the Divers feed the amazing Sharks, Rays and Sawfish in Endless Oceans which is what the children and I watched.
(Feed dives are , cleaning/maintenance dives are Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday), and Amazon Flooded Forest on Sundays at 2pm.
Check out whats on!
WON MANY ACCOLADES
- Finalist in the Visit England Awards for Excellence, Inclusive Tourism catergory 2017
- Winner of Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2014 (White Rose Awards)
- Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
- Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards in 2014 and 2015
- Finalist in the Hull Daily Mail Business Awards 2016 for the Customer Focus Awards (Business Centre)
- Gold award for the Enjoy England Access for All Tourism Award 2011
- Mumsnet voted us number one UK aquarium in their Best Awards 2011
- Silver award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2009 (White Rose Awards)
- Gold award for Green Tourism Business Scheme 2008
- Gold award in Sustainable Tourism in Yorkshire 2008 (White Rose Awards)
- Recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, metal, batteries, green waste, electrical products, lamps, fluorescent tubes, catering oil and printer cartridges
- their van is fully electric
- They use local food suppliers and organic fairtrade products where they can
- Their fish food is sustainably sourced and caught
- They buy green energy from the grid
- They use FSC certified paper in their offices and have a ‘do you need to print it?’ policy
- They carry out a thermal imaging survey of their building and electrical equipment every year to ensure they are as energy efficient as possible
- They have a charging point for electric cars in their car park
- They have a reduce, reuse, recycle policy (and an if it’s broken fix it policy!)
- They use LED lighting throughout our building and car park
- They don’t run the building’s heating or cooling systems unnecessarily, they are turned off at night and out of season
- All employees have a responsibility to turn off lights and computers when not in use
- They car park ticket machines are solar powered
- They compost our green waste from around our site
- They sell eco-friendly products in our Deep-artment store
- They sell boxed water reducing the impacts of plastics on the ocean
- They installed solar panels on the roof of the Business Centre and the energy they generate is used to help power the attraction and Business Centre
- The packaging in their cafe including sandwich boxes, cups, straws and salad boxes is made from Vegware – a fully compostable material that looks like plastic but is made from plants!
YOU CAN DONATE
The Deep is an Education and Conservation charity – it receives no ongoing revenue from any external sources minus the money spent in the building including ticket sales, their shop, café, restaurant and other departments.
Any profits are put back into the improving the visitor experience at The Deep and into vital research and conservation schemes around the globe. In addition to this income they rely on donations from their visitors.
OUR EXPERIENCE ON YOUTUBE
WHAT WE SAW
Of course as mentioned we saw the big building! Added to my Instagram their reaction too (which was excited by the way) They have all different names for different sections of this exhibit such as: Awakening Seas, Lagoon of Light, Endless Ocean, The Kingdom of Ice, Slime, Bugs, Amazon Flooded Forest, Cool Seas, Deep Blue one and so on.
We travelled through the story of the world’s oceans from the moment we walked into the exhibit!
Just walking along you can learn about the birth of the planet, facts about small things like Ammonites to huge sharks, origins, fossils – there are even a variation of live creatures like Star fish!
Did you know?…
About 3,500 million years ago, life began in some watery place on earth – perhaps a tide pool, hot spring or deep sea vent. Chemicals became concentrated and reactions were sparked off by lightening. Ultraviolet radiation or volcanic heat created complex carbon-based chemicals that eventually became the first simple life forms.
About 600 million years ago, the first creatures with many cells evolved. They were soft-bodied like jellyfish, but soon more sophisticated animals evolved with hard parts for movement, attack and defence. By 500 million years ago, the first fishes swam in the ocean.
Once you’re past the history you then walk into the Aquarium where there is so much to look at and see from the huge tank that contains 2.5 litres of water and 87 tonnes of salt to the interactive floor, there’s even a fossil finding section for children to discover under the sand! My nephew enjoyed playing with it and my son loved the floor.
This area represents where the rainforests meet the reef, the lagoon reflects the diversity of aquatic life and unique habitats found in and around many of the islands and archipelagos in the western Pacific Ocean, from tropical North Queensland to the outer islands of Palau in Micronesia.
As you journey further round, delve into the secret world of corals, you see the complicated care of these animals – you can see how much upkeep it takes – and view a portion of the extensive life support and filtration system that’s needed to keep them growing healthy and strong!
The children also loved learning that there’s fish that could breathe on land.
You then walk on to another area where you pass lots of interactive sections for the children to join in on, pressing buttons, turning things, guessing, looking and make your way past a preview of the penguins to more ‘deep sea’ vibes.
I loved the way you could really see into the tank, as did the children with their noses pressed up against the glass mesmerized by names of creatures I don’t even remember the names of!Of course by each glass there’s more information about them and fun and educational interactive and audio visual presentations which does make it a fun filled family day out for all ages!
I have a 10 and a half month old baby – she found the lights, music and sounds sensory and delightful.
Moving past that particular area you go towards The Tropical Lagoon where there are Bugs, Beetles, slimy creatures, Tarantulas and of course Nemo! It was in this section we viewed the animal feeding.
The picnic area close by and a small room filled with ‘stars’ in the sky which was very pretty.
We then walked through The Kingdom of Ice which the children found a wall of ice! There were great facts displayed via text/projectors on the fake ice walls then there were the penguins again but this time you could see them underwater!
Did you know?…
The Deep is the only location in the North of England where you can see these beautiful creatures. Their home runs over three floors and features a chilled swimming pool, beach and nesting areas as well as the penguins’ very own outdoor balcony with views overlooking the Humber. The exhibit has been created with the penguins’ comfort in mind and boasts climate control and natural lighting cycles to provide essential behavioural cues for breeding and moulting.
Their penguins arrived in two groups; the first from Moody Gardens, Texas in 2014, followed by a further group from Calgary Zoo, Canada in 2015. They now form part of the European Breeding Programme for Gentoo penguins, adding to the genetic diversity of this species in Europe.
Moving on from there you walk underneath a bright coloured tunnel (so much sensory things for small children!) there was a little play area which I didn’t video or take photos of this area due to so many children about but it had a little microscope section to learn about bacteria, there was piranhas, Red-bellied piranha, an Amazon tree boa and the Critically Endangered Golden mantella frog plus Leaf cutter ants as they journey to and from their nest.
“It’s estimated that 80% of all pollution in our oceans comes from land-based activities via rivers and land run-off, so in Deep Blue One we bring to life the world’s greatest river systems and their surrounding habitats to show the intricacies of life for their inhabitants and how closely they affect one another.
Through a series of live exhibits – both aquatic and terrestrial – you are able to get a true feel for life in and around tropical rivers. You can even test your skills against the man-made threats of the Amazon River in their game, Piranha Peril!
The exhibition complements their marine displays and is a vital part of their story line. Living Rivers was designed and built by their in-house team as part of their 10th anniversary year series of developments.
You can take a walk through an underwater tunnel to admire the stunning marine life swimming right above you too which is where we headed and then took a ride in a glass bubble lift through the 10m Endless Oceans exhibit for some under the sea vibes!
There is a gift shop filled with loads of plush teddies, stationary and pretty much everything any child wants! Annoyingly. Obviously located when you leave – for children it’s like Toys R us!
ADOPT A SHARK
To help to support the sharks and the conservation projects they do to monitor and preserve them.
All money from the sales of adoption packs goes directly back into their conservation and research work so by purchasing a pack you are making a real difference.
The Deep Adoption pack (sharks) contains:
- an admission ticket valid for 12 months entry
- Cuddly toy, fact booklet
- Specially designed eco bag.
Once you have received your pack, you can sign up for our special adopters e-newsletter to receive quarterly updates on your animal and their conservation work!
The Deep is in the perfect location located just a 5 minute walk from Hull Marina and a short stroll to the City Centre – great for visitors to enjoy the City of Hull and all it has to offer for an awesome day out for all.
SAT NAV (HU9 1TU) this will take you to Tower Street, Hull, the nearest main road to The Deep. VAT GB766931489
OPENING TIMES 10am – 6pm every day, last entry 5pm. The Deep is closed 24th & 25th December Tel: 01482 381000
IS THERE FOOD?
After we looked around the children had a ‘kids classic’ of nuggets, chips and beans costing £3.50 per meal and £1 per drink which is what I’d expect in any Café. There was a nice choice from hot to cold and a lot of space! Really loved the way they cater to peoples requirements as special dietary requirements are all catered for.
The Café is called: Castaway’s
Located on the 3rd floor (which is on the same floor that you enter the exhibit) there is a lovely view over the Humber!
Children’s meals (like what I mentioned) and tables that have been raised for easier wheelchair access are also available within the café plus a baby feeding station too with bottle and food warming facilities.
Open from 10am to 5.30pm every day (except 24th and 25th December when The Deep is closed). Offering hot breakfasts (until 11.30am), a range of hot meals and salads (until 3pm), plus snacks, cakes, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks.
Picnic benches are located outside of the visitor attraction and a small picnic place area in the exhibition (next to Cool Seas and the Kingdom of Ice) there was space for the children to sit and have a drink from the water provided in a fountain.
Great message by the fountain too about reducing plastic waste – reuse and refill bottles.
Two Rivers Restaurant
The Deep is also home to the Two Rivers restaurant which we didn’t see or experience but customers can enjoy a two or three course meal from a modern and contemporary menu created with local produce.
Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm, you dine with the sharks (not be dined on by the Sharks!) and experience spectacular views all around whilst enjoying a freshly prepared menu sourced from locally produced ingredients – and now I want to experience it!
Hopefully I’ve covered lots of reasons why The Deep is a great place to visit and I could probably go on an on about reasons why it is because although it’s a business but it’s also a home to a serious amount of animals and you can tell the staff genuinely care about these creatures.
Conservation is at the heart of everything they do and without the support of their loyal customers, much of this vital work couldn’t happen.
Each year the aquarium grows in both popularity and reputation; as a visitor attraction and centre for environmental excellence.
Obviously there are days it’s busy and days it isn’t plus you have to orchestrate the times around when there’s animal feeding and creature holding (as well as tantruming children) – the children didn’t get to ‘touch and feel’ any creatures but they did get to see a man in a tank feeding and were seriously impressed, it isn’t something you see every day! Average time spent was about two and a half hours.
Disclaimer – I was gifted a family ticket and 3 activity books, 3 penguins and a plush teddy but all thoughts are my own and my childrens/nephew.
Hope you enjoyed this post of the Shaws on Tour!