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Get ‘buzzy’ with nature in the city

Press release issued: 5 June 2017

Celebrate the start of summer and all things bright and beautiful by joining in with one of the many diverse activities on offer at this year’s Festival of Nature.

It’s the UK’s largest free natural history event and brings a host of nature related activities and exhibits to suit every age.

The harbourside free family weekend is set to take place on the 10 and 11 June and University of Bristol academics and researchers will be bringing some serious buzz to the weekend festival with stalls ranging from bees and botany to a skeletal zoo, acoustic camouflage and more.

Saturday and Sunday will offer an array of hands on activities, fascinating talks, live entertainment and a market bursting with local produce.

University of Bristol highlights include:

Acoustic camouflage
Blending into the background can help an animal to escape becoming a hungry predator’s next meal, but how can they avoid hunters that seek their prey using sound? In order to hide from an echolocating bat an animal must employ acoustic camouflage, concealing themselves by absorbing the sound energy from the bats sonar call. Moths may well be using this strategy to hide from bats at night, with their body and wings acting as a type of acoustic cloak. Explore the amazing diversity of moths from around the world and learn how they might be hiding from hungry bats. Then see how you would get on as a bat and try your hand at using a sonar device to hunt for moths using sound alone.

Anatomy Zoo
Expert anatomists from the University of Bristol present a zoo full of animal skeletons from cows and crocodiles to cranes and more. This stall will highlight some of the incredible ways in which bones are shaped to fit their function.

Con artists and traffic wardens: the secret lives of flowers
How do bees maintain a healthy bee lifestyle and how do plants manipulate their pollinators? These questions and many more will be answered at this year's Botanic Garden stall with its bevy of botancial know-how on everything from flower weapons, to bee-memory and balanced bee diets.

What goes around
We live with infectious diseases throughout our lives, from chicken pox and freshers’ flu, to shingles. Infectious disease researchers from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol have developed family-friendly games to illustrate how diseases are transmitted and how vaccines work.  See if you can pin the infection on the correct body part, try your hand at disease-family fortunes or be a doctor racing against an infection.

Essential information:
10am– 6pm on Saturday 10th June and 10am – 5pm Sunday 11th June
Millennium Square and Lloyds Amphitheatre, Bristol, BS1 5LL
After the weekend, the festival will set sail on a wild adventure up the River Avon ending on 25 June
Find out more about the Festival of Nature on its website

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