Octo-cows and banana-hedgehogs - The project founded in Norwich that’s attracting interest from thousands of schools

Joshua Davidson and Simon 'Buzz' Burman, who met in Norwich and created the Night Zoo Keeper project

Joshua Davidson and Simon 'Buzz' Burman, who met in Norwich and created the Night Zoo Keeper project to fire up the imagination of youngsters. - Credit: Archant

A project created by two friends who met in Norwich has attracted the interest of thousands of schools throughout the country.

The Night Zoo Keeper, founded in 2005 by two best friends, Simon 'Buzz' Burman, 30, and Joshua Davidson, 33, who met whilst studying at Norwich University of the Arts, encourages children to put down electronic games and pick up their pens.

Now, the pair have seen little ones create octo-cows that can produce any flavour milkshake and banana-hedgehogs that are delicious but prickly.

Mr Davidson said: 'When I was looking at digital games, they were kind of addictive and mindless.

'Children didn't have to think of anything for themselves or use their imaginations.

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'Some of the creations we have seen are just great, like the octo-cow creator.

'He was obsessed with chocolate milkshake and it gets children writing.'

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Online, youngsters can create magical mixed-breed animals at www.nightzookeeper.com and write stories about their powers and adventures at school.

More than 2,000 schools across the country have signed up to the project and the digital-duo have visited more than 200.

This includes Langham Village School, in Langham near Holt, where one student from the school has featured in the pair's new book, called Night Zookeeper and the Spying Giraffes.

Emma Cotton, a teacher at Langham Village School, said: 'Buzz planned an exciting workshop day involving animal aerobics, play-scripts, drama and an amazing storytelling session. It really was very special.'

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