Sheffield Nature Fest set to celebrate local wildlife at Weston Park Museum this weekend

Tuesday 25th July 2017

Weston Park Museum is set to go wild about wildlife this weekend!

Taking place on Saturday 29 July, Sheffield Nature Fest will invite visitors to take part in a day of free family activities exploring the natural world on our doorstep and beyond. This weekend will also see the unveiling of Nature Counts, a brand new natural science display at the museum created in partnership with Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, thanks to National Lottery players.

Supported by the Waitrose Community Matters scheme, Sheffield Nature Fest will see local wildlife experts take participants on hunts for the marvellous mini-beasts that live around Weston Park, with microscopes on hand so participants can identify the discoveries they’ve made. There’ll be a chance to learn about the diets of kestrels and otters, a curator talk on the moths found in our gardens, birdwatching, pond dipping, interactive experiments and more.

Throughout the day visitors will also have the opportunity to meet with some of our local environmental groups who work so hard to keep Sheffield green, find out more about the wildlife that lives in the area and how to get involved in Sheffield’s amazing natural history community.

Alistair McLean Curator of Natural Science at Museums Sheffield and Paul Richards of Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust © Museums Sheffield

Saturday also marks the opening of Nature Counts, a new display at the museum highlighting the importance of recording local wildlife. Nature Counts is a two year multi-partner project led by Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust and supported by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project trains and inspires people to record sightings of our flora and fauna to help monitor the health of our local ecology. The project is also bringing together data to publish a ‘State of Nature in Sheffield’ report next year. The new display focuses on three key areas of the project: the River Don’s otter population, British bluebells and the falling number of hedgehogs in the UK.

David Renwick, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire and the Humber, said:

“Few people realise that every National Lottery ticket has the potential to protect the UK’s important species. The Nature Counts project is raising awareness of our nature neighbours from hedgehogs to otters and encouraging everyone to become nature detectives to protect their local wildlife.”

Alistair McLean, Curator of Natural Sciences at Museums Sheffield, said:

“With 80 parks and over 175 woods, Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK and home to a wonderfully diverse range of living things. We’re looking forward to unveiling our new Nature Counts display and celebrating the fantastic wildlife that lives on our doorstep with a day of activities for the whole family to enjoy together.”

Paul Richards, Nature Counts Engagement Officer at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, said:

“We are delighted to showcase the work of the Nature Counts project to date. The otter, hedgehog and bluebell projects have really engaged the people of Sheffield and we hope that sharing these results will inspire more people to get involved in learning about and recording local wildlife.”

Sheffield Nature Fest takes place at Weston Park Museum on Saturday 29 July, 10am-4pm. The museum’s Nature Counts display opens on the same day. Entry to the museum and all Sheffield Nature Fest activities are free.

Click here to find out more about you can get involved in Nature Counts.

Nature Counts logo

Museums Sheffield