There was plenty of fun at the Nature Festival last Saturday.
Hundreds of naturalists and families joined together on Saturday 27th for Gilbert White & The Oates Collections Nature Festival. The day was well attended with approximately 400 people from families enjoying the great activities and crafts, on the bank holiday weekend to experts in the fields of naturalism and ecology looking forward to speaking to our stallholders and participating in our surveys and talks.
The Museum was joined by organisations such as the Natural History Museum who were showing visitors some of the wasps and bees commonly found in Selborne as well as helping out with the activities. The South Down National Park, RSPB, Hampshire Swifts, Hampshire Fungus Recording Group and Hampshire Bat Group were also among the organisations taking part. The Fresh Water Habitats Trust took visitors on pond dipping activities; families could find various species of newts hiding in the pond. The National Trust brought along some of their grazing cattle, and took visitors on guided tours of the protected Selborne Common. The Hampshire Ornithology Society and Botanist Tony Mundell also took guided walks.
Throughout the day visitors did activities which collected data about the wildlife in the grounds of the museum, this data was collected and will be published as part of a Modern Natural History celebrating the life of Gilbert White.
After the main event closed, there was a selection of nature talks and guided walks in the evening hosted by the Museum’s Field Studies Centre, the group were up till past midnight collecting and admiring unusual moths, and were up early to observe what had been found, followed by one last early morning walk up to Selborne Common.
The event will be back bigger and better next year as the Museum continues to take the great naturalist Gilbert White’s legacy into the 21st century ready for his 300th birthday in 2020.