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University entomologists to support insect event

Posted 9 April 2015

Joe Roberts and Alice Gribble at the 2014 All About Insects event

Entomologists from Harper Adams University are returning to the Dorothy Clive Garden this summer, to contribute their expertise to the charity’s annual insect-themed extravaganza.

Following the success of the 2014 ‘All About Insects’ event, ‘Minibeasts Adventure’ will take place on July 11 and 12 at the charitable garden near Market Drayton.

Visitors will be able to take part in an insect trail exploring different habitats; as well as find out about pests and beneficial insects, learn more about the main groups of insects and try out some new ways to find insects.

In addition to the weekend, school groups are being invited to attend a day of activities, including building mini insect houses and butterfly feeders, on Monday July 13.

Postgraduate research student, Fran Sconce, is currently investigating how farming affects soil-dwelling insects and other invertebrates, and will be leading the team from Harper Adams.

She said: “As the only UK institution to teach general entomology at postgraduate level, Harper Adams thrives on outreach activities to inform children about the wonders of insects, and how an enthusiasm for them can lead to exciting and varied careers.

“We are delighted to have been asked to volunteer again at the Dorothy Clive Garden and hope to build on the great success of last year’s event.

“There is a current shortage of expertise in entomology, the science of insects, so it is important that we do our part to encourage the next generation of insect enthusiasts, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

As well as activities, the event welcomes John Moran from the Honey Bee Project, animation expert Melody Smith, and The Royal Entomological Society's Director of Outreach, Luke Tilley.

The Dorothy Clive Garden is an independent 12-acre charitable garden trust located on the three county borders of Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire.

Curator of the Dorothy Clive Garden, Marcus Chilton-Jones, said: “Last year’s partnership event between the Dorothy Clive Garden and Harper Adams University was a great success and we’re absolutely delighted to invite these national experts back to join us this year.

“The traditional boundaries between creating and maintaining great gardens whilst ensuring sympathetic ecological management grow ever thinner.

“Both understanding and encouraging others to explore the important part that gardens can play in the wonderful world of ‘minibeasts’ is a worthy cause and one that sits squarely at the heart of this beautiful countryside garden.”

For more information, see http://dorothyclivegarden.co.uk/

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