After a very successful first year, the Cambridge Nature Festival is back! The festival, which will run from 26 May to 2 July, aims to get us all more in touch with the nature on our doorsteps.
Over 80 events and activities are planned with something for all ages, abilities and interests. There will be sonic pond dipping, wild(ish) camping, BioBlitzes, bat punt safaris, live music, nature boat trips, guided nature walks, wildlife ID workshops, hands-on creative activities such as making seed bombs, and much more. Most of the events are free or low cost, and will take place in Cambridge and the surrounding countryside.
The festival is being organised by local charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future, in collaboration with The Wildlife Trust BCN, The National Trust, RSPB, Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Sports Lake Trust, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Magog Trust and Cambridge University Botanic Garden, as part of the Cambridge Nature Network.
Festival organiser Natalie Lambert says, “The idea is to provide fun activities that encourage people to find out more about their local nature. Research shows that spending time in nature helps improve people’s emotional as well as physical well-being, so we hope lots of people will come along and get involved.”
The Festival will kick-off with a Wildlife Day drop in event 11am -4pm at Wandlebury Country Park on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May with free activities for all the family. Activities include sonic pond dipping to hear the mysterious underwater world, learning about beetles and butterflies and discovering how to catch them with sweep netting, guided wildlife walks, magnificent mammals, marvellous moths and much more!
Here’s just a snippet of what’s to come! For a full list of events see www.cambridgenaturenetwork.org/naturefestival
The Wildlife Trust will take you on a nocturnal journey with Bat Punt Safaris and show you how to go wild on a Family Wildlife Campout under the stars! You can discover the wildlife and history of Cambridge Commons on a series of guided walks and celebrate 30 Days Wild with bug hunting events at Trumpington Meadows Nature Reserve.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden will host a fun-filled, fact-finding day out with something for everyone to enjoy at their Festival of Plants. From gardeners to budding plant scientists; families to photographers; or anyone looking to spend an interesting day in the Garden when it is brimming with summer colour.
The National Trust will be holding craft activities and family trails at Wicken Fen, kicking off with Mucky Pups nature activities and a Fen Flowers walk. Follow their seasonal trails around Sedge Fen routes on the Boardwalk and Woodland Walk to find out lots of fun and fascinating facts about bees and beetles.
For older children and teenagers, and adults alike, the RSPB will be hosting wildlife walks and an event where you will see bird ringing in action. Experts will show you the beautiful wild birds as they are examined, measured and weighed. You will learn about their migration patterns and even find out about the movements of individual birds.
If you are more of an evening person, then there will be Bat Detecting at Milton Country Park and Wandlebury Country Park, Moth Trapping and a nature themed live music event at Tall Trees music venue.
There will also be online talks and interviews with wildlife experts from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Amphibian and Reptile Group and the Museum of Zoology. Livestreams from the Museum will enable us to explore what their collections can tell us about the zoology of the past.
Natalie continues, “There is something for everyone and we are delighted to showcase and celebrate nature, as well as the wonderful people and organisations that work tirelessly for the natural world. We’re excited to bring the city a great mix of in-person and online events and activities from sonic pond dipping, guided nature walks and live music, to online interviews with wildlife experts and the screening of wildlife films. With the increasing pressures on our environment, it’s so important to enthuse people to learn about the wildlife and greenspaces on their doorstep, and this is a great opportunity to do that”.
The Festival is being funded by the Cambridge BID, crowdfunding and the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund (delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency).
It is made possible thanks to the efforts of the many participating organisations, including Cambridge Past, Present & Future, Cambridge Sports Lakes Trust, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambridge University Museum of Zoology, Cambridgeshire Bat Group, Cambridgeshire Mammal Group, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Amphibian and Reptile Group, CoFarm, Histon and Impington Green Spaces (Abbey Fields), Hobson’s Conduit Trust, RSPB, The National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts BCN, Tall Trees Music Venue and University of Cambridge.
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- On site parking