The UK’s largest free celebration of the natural world is marking its 15th birthday this summer with its biggest programme yet, promising a wild adventure for all the family.
Following the region’s success during the international City Nature Challenge, which saw Bristol and Bath securing top spot in Europe in an epic race to find the most wildlife, the festival is another great opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about the natural world.
On Saturday 2 June, the festival will see over 20 of the region’s most loved nature organisations flock to Green Park to help families celebrate their love of all things wild. From 6pm, visitors can enjoy a free ‘after-dark’ wildlife pop-up party in Green Park Station as part of the Bath Fringe Festival and explore the intersection between art, science, nature and technology alongside pizza, beer and live music.
Savita Willmott, director at Bristol Nature History Consortium, which organises the festival said: “Bristol and Bath’s colossal effort in the City Nature Challenge proves yet again that the region is made up of amazing wildlife lovers. We’re excited to carry on the celebrations and mark the 15th year of bringing nature to life with our biggest festival yet. From interactive workshops, augmented reality and getting up close to real life wildlife, our varied programme promises a brilliant day out for nature lovers and will inspire city dwellers to help protect our natural world.”
Here are the top ten ways families can celebrate nature during the festival:
- Become a fossil detective for the day and hunt for mosasaur teeth in the big fossil display. Scientists from University of Bath will also be on hand to help identify fossil finds from home and add them to a giant timeline stretching back millions of years
- Go ‘speed-dating’ with fruit flies! Conduct an experiment to find out what kinds of smells and perfumes encourage male and female insects to mate
- Discover why insects change over time and get up close-up to real life creepy crawlies including stick insects, leaf-cutter ants, giant millipedes, geckos and tree frogs
- Get Bath buzzing! Be sure to stock up on pollinator friendly plants for the garden and help look after wildlife. The first 1000 visitors will get a free packet of wildflower seeds – great for attracting beers and butterflies to the garden!
- Tuck into healthy snacks in the riverside heritage park and find out more about River Avon projects in the region
- Laugh along to The Punk Biologist’s stand-up comedy or pull a team together and try and win ‘the ridiculously short nature pub quiz’ for a prize
- Grab a seat for the ‘World’s Smallest Wildlife Film Festival’ featuring a series of films about the smallest insects and microbes that inhabit an invisible world
- Discover how technology is helping society understand the natural world and try an augmented reality experience for an unusual perspective of the River Avon
- Not for the faint hearted, sample some unusual wildlife-themed food and drink including insect snacks