4 Now insects and teachers can benefit from our nature project! In the Spring, we took part in a national project led by the Art Fund called Wild Escape. We explored some of the wildlife in our collections and on our doorsteps, we made artwork and built bug hotels. Two of the big bug hotels that were made by our group of home educating families and children from Westhaven school are now settled in at Ellenborough Park East and at Milton Road Cemetery. The resources from this project have now been added to our Nature and Wildlife handling box and it’s free for local schools and pack groups (such as Beavers and Brownies etc) to borrow this handling box for free.

IMGL0597We held some creative sessions with children from our home educators’ group and from Westhaven school where we explored some specimens from the North Somerset Collections (including hedgehogs, bees, butterflies and birds). We then made our own creative responses to them, which included painting butterflies and drawing and building insects and animals using natural and craft materials. We then planted some seeds to take home and grow and thought about how we can support the wildlife around us.

6Some of the children then went on to build the big bug hotels (with the home educators working in Ellenborough Park East and the children at Westhaven starting a structure at the school, which was then transported to Milton Road Cemetery). The children got the chance to use hand tools and consider the best arrangements of different natural materials to create homes for different bugs.

We also held a special event for all ages at the museum on Earth Day, where we were joined by about 200 people to make nature-based artwork, plant seeds and make seed bombs. Did you join us for that?

Wild Escape Activity PackThe resources created as part of this project have been added in to our Nature and Wildlife handling box (including an activity pack with instructions and inspiration for low or no cost nature-based activities). We offer a handling box hire service to all schools, which includes a wide range of historical topics, from dinosaurs to WW2 and everything in between. Boxes can be hired for 2 weeks and there is more information under the Schools and Learning tab on the Weston Museum website. For the academic year 23/24, we will have a special offer where local schools and pack groups (such as Beavers and Brownies etc) can borrow this handling box for free.

If you’d like to know more information or enquire about availability, just phone (01934621028) or email (museum@wsm-tc.gov.uk) and speak to the Learning Team.