How did you spend this weekend of unseasonably cold weather? Potentially staying wrapped up indoors I bet! But those who did brave the conditions were rewared on Saturday as the Manchester Museum Youth Board and the Friends of Whitworth park organised a festival in Whitworth Park called the ‘Wonderful Whitworth Wildlife Big Saturday’. This was in association with the city council; and involved everyone pulling together in trying to create a wildlife park that the whole community can enjoy. There was lots of ways to help out on the day; from helping to put up the tents; to encouraging the children to try and do some collecting. We had lots of experts on the day to help with our Bioblitz and collecting, including Dmitri– curator of arthropods at the museum, and Rachel curator of Botany. There were craft events with the Museum Youth Board; including making model bees and planting ‘Turing’s sunflowers’. There was also archaeology and local park history with the friends of Whitworth Park. We were participating through carrying out our own ‘Bioblitz’ in association with the Greater Manchester Local Records Centre. This was in addition to generally enthusing people about nature and providing information about how people can get involved in museum events. There were also other ‘attractions’ including an ice cream van (despite the cold!); a dj (who had to stop whilst a wedding took place in the gallery!) and a bee man and lady who entertained and informed people about the value of bees. The police and a fire engine turned up, but pleasingly no one hurt themselves on the bouncy castle; nor got stuck up a tree! Overall, it was a great day to pass on to the public some information about biodiversity; of the good work that is happening in the museum; and Dmitri managed to find some spiders that hadn’t previously been recorded in the park. Plus everyone had a great deal of fun; so not a bad way to spend a windy, cold April afternoon after all!
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