7th-9th July 2017: Bluedot Festival

Volunteers from Macclesfield RSPB Wildlife Explorers took part in an unforgettable weekend at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot Festival 2017. The weekend was an incredible mix of music, science, culture and arts.
Based in the Planet Field, the Wildlife Explorers stall featured lots of hands-on activities to engage and inspire families. The Feely boxes were a big hit (despite the odd scream when fingers made contact with the jelly slugs!) and everyone enjoyed matching creatures to their man-made wildlife homes. The skull collection was fascinating for visitors of all ages – an incredible opportunity to compare and contrast the skeletal adaptations of some of our familiar countryside animals and birds. The team also ran regular bug hunts in the Arboretum and the occasional binocular workshop for interested families.
 Over the three days of the Bluedot Festival over 1500 people took part in one or more hands-on nature activities (most of them did three or four!). That is a fantastic achievement for our team. Visitors from as far away as Cornwall and Northern Scotland were drawn to the stall to talk to our volunteers about giving nature a home.  We were nearly always busy and every member of the team did a brilliant job, however, the younger members of the team particularly impressed with the mature and knowledgeable way they approached all the activities –  from running minibeast hunts to explaining the way starfish locomote.
Wildlife Explorers had a huge amount of really good feedback from both the visitors and the organisers on the impact of our stall and the activities we ran. The group were delighted to be part of the festival this year and we look forward to working closely with Jodrell Bank over the coming year on a number of different wildlife projects.
Bluedot is an award-winning festival of discovery at the grounds of a deep space observatory. Set against a backdrop of the iconic Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, bluedot combines a truly stellar line-up of music with a ground-breaking programme of live science experiments, expert talks and immersive artworks. The Festival has a self-proclaimed mission:
To inspire and entertain.
To explore the frontiers of human advancement.
To celebrate science and the exploration of the universe.
To explore the intersections of science, culture, art and technology.
To highlight the fragility of planet Earth.

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