As part of the annual Fascination of Plants day, the Education Team headed off to Harcourt Arboretum for what promised to be a fun day in the great outdoors, inspiring visitors with the amazing things plants do for us.
Our stall, ‘Bees, Seeds and Dinosaur Feed!’ offered three activities to entertain visitors. For one, we were lucky enough to have been lent some beautiful fossils from the Geology department. Armed with ‘wow’ examples of prehistoric ferns, horsetails and clubmosses, we certainly impressed passers-by with the fossilised ancestors of many plants they could see in the Arboretum today.
Also, our ‘Science Saturdays’ family activities came out of closure-hibernation. We took out our Entomology activity, which allowed visitors to see some bee specimens up close and discover how important they are for pollination. And the day saw the maiden voyage of our brand new activity ‘Plant Power’, designed especially for the day. Families identified some of the pressed specimens on display in the Museum, tried out a microscope and learned about the amazing properties plants have.
Throughout the day there were hands-on activities and displays, guided walks and trials from many other organisations. The University of Oxford Plant Sciences Department, Plant Life, and Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust to name a few.
With a steady flow of people all day, Janet, Sarah, our intrepid volunteers and myself were kept busy with questions and interested visitors. Entertained every now and then with the occasional peacock display of course!
Huge thanks to the Harcourt Arboretum and Botanic Garden teams for organising such a great day, and the volunteers who came along to give us a hand!
Simone Dogherty, Education Assistant