See the wilder side of Bristol this June
Press release issued: 1 June 2009
The Festival of Nature, one of the UK’s largest celebrations of the natural world, returns to Bristol’s harbourside this weekend [6 to 7 June 2009]. Visitors to the event will have the chance to experience, enjoy and connect to the natural world with a programme of animal encounters, talks, workshops, screenings and stalls from different exhibitors including Bristol University.
With 2009 being the bicentenary celebrations of Charles Darwin, the Festival will be one of the few locations to feature the British Council’s international Darwin Now exhibition, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the ideas that lie at the heart of evolutionary theory and the impact that they continue to have today. The centrepiece is the iconic, interactive Darwin Now tree logo which encourages visitors to leave their thoughts on Darwin and the exhibition.
This will be supplemented by dozens of varied and exciting hands-on activities, including a large ‘Alice in Wonderland’-style tent where visitors can discover different natural habitats under one roof, a preview of the Bristol’s first BioBlitz wildlife survey, and opportunities to come close to lively creatures from our region and farther away.
More people than ever are getting involved this year – schoolchildren are helping develop resources and exhibits, businesses will be selling locally-produced food, drink and eco-friendly goods, and staff from all the Festival’s partner organisations are working together to ensure this year’s event is one to remember.
As part of the University’s involvement in the event, staff and students will stage an ‘Evolving Science and Nature’ exhibit. Stalls will include ‘Biodiversity Jenga’, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Climate Change Edition’ and ‘Ant Lab’. There will also be a mini science café, with talks and discussions about a range of topics in the natural sciences including ‘How past extinctions can help predict the future’ given by Professor Mike Benton from the Department of Earth Sciences, and ‘Living with environmental change’ chaired by Dr Alice Roberts from the Department of Anatomy.
Further highlights will include:
· Talks by high profile speakers on nature-related issues – including James Wong, ethno-botanist and presenter of the BBC2 series ‘Grow Your Own Drugs’ and Stephen Moss, Series Producer at the BBC Natural History Unit
· A chance to watch sneak previews of the forthcoming ‘Human Planet’ production by the BBC, as well as material from already successful series including ‘Nature’s Great Events’ and ‘LIFE’
· An opportunity to create your own miniature marine ecosystem with the Natural England team
· Workshops and stands from over 150 South West and national organisations involved in nature and conservation
· Boat tours to highlight the harbourside’s diverse wildlife
· A Festival market selling a large selection of fresh snacks and other products
Savita Custead, Director of the Bristol Natural History Consortium which organises the event, says: “This year’s Festival of Nature is set to be bigger and better than ever. The Consortium’s national profile has meant we have been able to attract a fantastic range of exhibitors in 2009, which are sure to offer something for all visitors.
“The Festival is now an established part of Bristol’s lively public events calendar, and it is fantastic for the city as no other location in the country offers such an event. We look forward to announcing further exciting additions to the Festival programme in the coming weeks. “