The Dorothy Clive Garden, student entomologists from Harper Adams University, RSPB Midlands & Cranfield Forensic Institute are co-hosting a Mini Beast Adventure on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June, from 10:00am to 5:30pm, at the Dorothy Clive 12 acre woodland garden.
This fun and educational event will enable families, and other visitors, to take part in a ‘Mini Best Insect Trail’ around the garden, exploring different habitats as well as finding about the insects that live within. There will several insect themed stations located around the 12 acre woodland garden trail run by students from the Harper Adams University entomology department. These stations will encourage families to explore and learn, including meeting moths which have been caught, collected and trapped; learning about insect bio-control; discovering soil bugs and pond dipping.
There will also be the opportunity to discover all about the insects that help us solve crimes with Dr Hannah Moore from Cranfield Forensic Institute of Cranfield University with her station ‘Crime Scene Insects’ using maggot art. The RSPB will also be taking part and their family events officer, Laura, will be helping children learn about meadow insects, plus offering some arts and crafts.
Marketing and events manager from the Dorothy Clive Garden, Julia Roberts, said: "We are delighted to be collaborating with some very well-respected organisations such as Harper Adams University and their students from the MSc entomological department. Our 12 acre woodland site is an ideal place for exploring mini eco-systems, finding mini beasts and learning all about the little things that run the world."
24-year-old Aidan Thomas, PhD student studying biological control at Harper Adam University, said: “Insects play a significant role in our ecosystem and this event should prove a fun way to find out more. By helping children to understand the role of insects, we could potentially be inspiring the entomologists of the future and this is extremely important given the current shortage of expertise in the subject.”
Lara Taylor from RSPB Midlands said: “Insects may be small, but they have a huge impact on the natural world, providing a food source for birds as well as pollinating flowers and plants. This forthcoming event will enable children and adults alike to explore the wonderful world of insects for themselves.”
Dr Hannah Moore from Cranfield Forensic Institute of Cranfield University, said: "We will be teaching families how insects help solve crimes by introducing visitors to the blowfly via maggot art."
For this special event, adults will be admitted at the discounted price of £5.00 and children 5-17 years at £2.00. Admission will be free for 0-4 year and also free for members and friends of the Dorothy Clive Garden.
Visitors can also explore the 12 acre garden which is currently full of spring colour as well as enjoying light refreshments in the garden tearoom including children’s lunch bags.