The sun shone, the worms were charmed, bugs counted, trees trailed, and ponds dipped while visitors were led a merry dance through the Museum and outdoor gardens by the Insect Parade for Big Nature Day last Sunday. Over 5,000 people came. It was a resounding success.
Hundreds of excited children made bug hats and got their faces painted at the workshops in the Darwin Centre atrium to join the Insect Parade (above and below). The parade was led by the insect band on stilts who were dressed as a giant ladybird, earwig, leaf insect and beetle. They took the procession twice around the Museum, through the Central Hall under Dippy's tail, back into the Darwin Centre and out into the Courtyard for a final song.
The event was also abuzz with about 50 nature groups who had amazing displays in the indoor and outdoor marquees. Friends of the Earth had people dressing up as bees to raise awareness of the decline of bumblebees. The National Trust brought their shepherd’s caravan and did bark rubbing and a poplular log run challenge. The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers showed visitors how to make bird boxes and bug hotels to encourage wildlife into their gardens.
Among the crowd you could often spot members of several Cub Scout packs who joined in the pond dipping and bug counting activities to earn their Cub Naturalist Activity badges.
Enjoy some more highlights in pictures. Select images to enlarge them
Insect carnival revelry
The Friends of the Earth stand where you could dress up as a bee
Getting a painted face
Leaf shaking for insects in the Wildlife Garden
Worm charming in the Wildlife Garden
Insect Carnival on the move
Darwin Centre atrium workshops
The peaceful shepherd's hut