Rockpools on the west coast of Scotland

Pondwatch: Rockpools

It’s the summer, and so in the last of our posts celebrating National Marine Week we are having a go at our favourite beach holiday activity: rockpooling. Join Learning Officer Dr Roz Wade as she explores the animals living in the rockpools of the west coast of Scotland. Watch the feeding tentacles of sea anemones, the slow but steady movements of sea snails, darting fish, … Continue reading Pondwatch: Rockpools

Five-spot burnet moth

National Moth Week 2021

July 17-25 is National Moth Week 2021. To celebrate, we are revisiting a moth trap from 2020, and finding out more about some of the British moths in our collections with Research Assistant Matt Hayes. Why not join us at the BioBlitz in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 July to find out more about moth surveying and see some … Continue reading National Moth Week 2021

map of Cambridge city with 'spots' showing where to discover wildlife. Illustrations of animals sit on top of map Sticky post

Cambridge Wildlife Safari Trail

Go on safari in Cambridge’s green spaces to discover the plants and animals that live in these city centre wildlife havens. Follow the map and clues below to discover the wildlife of central Cambridge. Our Wildlife Safari Trail can be followed on a smartphone here, downloaded to your own device, or printed at home before your journey: Use the Cambridge Wildlife Safari map and the clues below to find … Continue reading Cambridge Wildlife Safari Trail

Blackbird next to a mocked-up museum label

Five minutes in nature: Ringneck the blackbird

Museum Collections Manager Matt Lowe writes: The past 12 months has meant a lot more screen time, especially for a collections manager who has a never ending list of edits for a museum database that seems longer than, well…. a year under lockdown. Ordinarily, to give tired eyes a rest, we would look up from our screens to chat to colleagues, or go and double … Continue reading Five minutes in nature: Ringneck the blackbird

Owl pellet dissected to show the bones and fur of its prey

Owl Pellets

Museum Volunteer Ian Harvey writes: We’re all familiar with owls and for many people, they’re their favourite animal. And we know owls from literature; the owl and the pussycat, owl in Winnie the Pooh and the owls in the Harry Potter books. Owls are birds of prey or raptors meaning they feed on other animals. They have certain features making them great hunters; excellent eyesight … Continue reading Owl Pellets

Herbie the Hedgehog’s winter hidey hole

Matt Lowe, Collections Manager at the Museum of Zoology, writes: A couple of months ago my wife and I were tidying up the pots of herbs we keep next to kitchen door when we heard a shuffling noise and what sounded awfully like snoring. That was when I realised I had succeeded in giving an overwintering hedgehog a home. In 2019, not long after we … Continue reading Herbie the Hedgehog’s winter hidey hole

BioBlitz logo

BioBlitz 2020 at the Botanic Garden

We are excited to announce that this year’s BioBlitz will be taking place in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden from 5pm on Saturday 19 September to 5pm on Sunday 20 September. During this 24 hours we will be counting as many species as we can in the garden. You can take part by visiting the garden and adding your data to the Cambridge BioBlitz 2020 … Continue reading BioBlitz 2020 at the Botanic Garden

Photograph of a hoverfly hovering

An Insect A Day Part 11

Have you noticed some of the amazing insect life living around us this summer? Prof Bill Amos of the Department of Zoology has been keeping a photo diary of insects this year. Here it continues with some lovely metallic insects, a stone-like bush cricket, and some fabulous action shots: You can see more of Bill’s photographs on the blog: An Insect A Day for bee … Continue reading An Insect A Day Part 11

Barn owl close up


Did you know it was International Owl Awareness Day on Tuesday 4 August? To celebrate this week, here are some of the owls you might be lucky enough to see in the UK. These are truly fascinating animals, with some amazing adaptations for their way of life. So let’s go explore these night-time wonders… Silent Flight Have you every listened to the sound of a … Continue reading Owls

Nuthatch, Sitta europaea

Roz Wade, Learning Officer at the Museum, writes: It is always fun watching the birds coming to the bird feeders in the garden. We find the fat blocks prove particularly popular. It is lovely to see the robins and blue tits taking a morsel of food, particularly now with new fledglings come to feed, but I get particularly excited when a nuthatch comes to visit. … Continue reading Nuthatch, Sitta europaea

Basking Beetles

Sara Steele, Museum learning assistant says: With 400,000 named species of beetle found across the world and over 4,000 species in the British Isles, beetles are a diverse bunch even among invertebrates. They come in all shapes and sizes, from long and thin soldier beetles to rounded ladybirds. This diversity points in part to their distribution; being found in every habitat except the sea and … Continue reading Basking Beetles

Photograph of a peacock buttefly on a flower

Watching Summer Wildlife

This is the final Nature Classroom post before the summer holidays. We hope you have been enjoying exploring the natural world with us this term. We thought we would finish the term with some fun activities engaging with the wildlife on your doorstep. There is information about a fantastic citizen science project from Butterfly Conservation, as well as wildlife-watching activities as part of Summer at … Continue reading Watching Summer Wildlife