Daffodils and helebores in the Botanic Garden

Wildlife Diaries from the Botanic Garden: March 6-12

Welcome back to Wildlife Diaries. This is a collaboration between the Museum of Zoology and Cambridge University Botanic Garden, sharing the wildlife of the Garden as spring arrives. Catch up with last week’s post, with its flowers and fragrances, hibernating ladybirds and singing robins, and join us for a special livestream at 5pm on April 1, when you can ask your questions to our panel … Continue reading Wildlife Diaries from the Botanic Garden: March 6-12

Title slide for Inspiring Conservation for International Women's Day 2021

Inspiring Conservation for International Women’s Day 2021

The past twelve months have changed the world, but there are reasons for optimism in nature. On Monday 8 March 2021, the Museum in collaboration with the CCF Women in Conservation Leadership network hosted an online event celebrating inspiring work by women in conservation. A panel of amazing women talked of their experiences engaging with young people and communities in conservation projects around the world:Abhisheka … Continue reading Inspiring Conservation for International Women’s Day 2021

Snowdrops with open flowers

Five minutes in nature: The Joy of Winter Fragrance

Dr William Foster, Emeritus Curator of Insects, writes: It is the world of smells that is most cruelly crushed by the cold of winter. Even on the chilliest days our eyes and ears have something to feast on. The bare branches still pattern the sky, the holly berries glow against the glossy leaves, and the blackbirds sing. But for our nostrils the diet of odours … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: The Joy of Winter Fragrance

Primroses in flower

Wildlife Diaries from the Botanic Garden

Welcome to Wildlife Diaries. This is a collaboration between the Museum of Zoology and Cambridge University Botanic Garden, sharing the wildlife of the Garden as spring arrives. Join us for a special livestream at 5pm on April 1, when we will be joined by a panel of wildlife experts ready to answer your questions: We have been inspired by the naturalists of the past – … Continue reading Wildlife Diaries from the Botanic Garden

Gorse shieldbug on a branch

BioBlitz Cambridge 2020: The Results

During March we are working with Cambridge University Botanic Garden to bring you a series of blog posts documenting Spring arriving in the Garden. This will be culminating in a Wildlife Diaries livestream at 5pm on Thursday 1 April on YouTube: https://youtu.be/RScsiUeR5aQ We will be live in the Garden with a panel of wildlife experts ready to answer your questions. To whet your appetite for … Continue reading BioBlitz Cambridge 2020: The Results

Black-headed gulls and a mute swan swimming on a lake at Cherry Hinton Hall

Five minutes in nature: Black-headed gulls at Cherry Hinton Hall

Museum Volunteer Anne French writes: Cherry Hinton Hall park, a short walk from where I live, is blessed with a chalk stream that used to power a water mill. The chalk stream supports many forms of wildlife such as kingfishers, water voles, sticklebacks, chubb and perch. But recently, I have found myself heading down there to see some birds I thought were terns but it … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: Black-headed gulls at Cherry Hinton Hall

Cloud formation above a country path

Five minutes in nature: Taking time to ‘stand and stare’

Museum Marketing Assistant Tricia Harnett writes: Since the first lockdown I have discovered a walk right behind my house which I didn’t know was so beautiful. I had walked it many times before. I had hurried round, trying to get my health app to register more km than the day before, thinking about my next task, the weekly shopping, the dinner, work….. I hadn’t really … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: Taking time to ‘stand and stare’

Swan on the river viewed through willow branches

Five Minutes in Nature: A mindful journey through art and nature

Museum Volunteer Tani Gill writes: Art and classical dance have been the core of my education and passion. In order to explain how art and nature keep me mindful and grateful for the life I have, it is important for me to remind myself of what inspired me in the early years of my life. It is these influential years that form our character and … Continue reading Five Minutes in Nature: A mindful journey through art and nature

Five minutes in nature: A river near me

Museum Volunteer Charlotte Dufferwiel writes: A short journey from the centre of Durham, the River Wear meanders through the open fields and wooded glades on the outskirts of the city. Walking along the country lane, the stubby green shoots of winter barely tentatively pop through the earth on either side. Skeletons of hogweed act as gateposts along the farmer’s fields and frozen droplets cling to … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: A river near me

Black locust tree in summer and autumn

Five minutes in nature: Certainty in trees

Museum PhD student Kate Howlett writes: As we approach having been in lockdown, in some form or other, for almost a year, I’ve come to be incredibly grateful for the gentle giants I can see through the windows of my flat—the trees. There is something comforting in watching the same trees every day for a whole year; watching them change colour through the seasons provides … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: Certainty in trees

A muntjac in the receding water

Five minutes in nature: A daily, identical photo

Assistant Director Jack Ashby writes: Like many people, since March 2020 I’ve been spending a lot of time in whatever countryside I can find near my home. When the UK government specified in those initial, strict covid lockdown guidelines that we were permitted just one hour of exercise outdoors a day, something psychological was triggered in me that made me eager to make sure I … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: A daily, identical photo

Heliconius butterfly

Exploring Chemical Signals in Butterflies

Kathy Darragh, PhD student in the Department of Zoology, writes: Due to the visual nature of humans, when we think of communication in nature, we tend to focus on things we can see. In many groups, however, other types of signals, such as chemicals, are the main form of communication. These chemical signals are harder to detect, and therefore to study, meaning they have received … Continue reading Exploring Chemical Signals in Butterflies

Redwing amongst winter berries

Our Feathered Friends

With the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch taking place from the 29-31 January, we have chosen to celebrate our fine feathered friends with a special Nature Classroom all about British birds. We will be uncovering what it is to be a bird, unfurling an amazing world of feathers, and creating a key together for common garden birds. Get your eye in by trying some of our … Continue reading Our Feathered Friends

Starling on a branch

Five Minutes in Nature: Starlings

Winter is a tough time of year, with its short days, long nights, and often overcast skies. But there is still wildlife to be enjoyed, and spending time in nature has been shown to improve wellbeing. With these posts, the team at the Museum of Zoology are sharing how they like to spend five minutes in nature and get reacquainted with the wildlife on their … Continue reading Five Minutes in Nature: Starlings