Day and night of nature

By Surrey and Hants News in Events

Gilbert White and The Oates Collections in Selborne is holding its second annual nature festival on May 27.

The event is aimed at families looking for a day out and people interested in nature and its conservation.

Organisations attending will include the RSPB, the South Downs National Park Authority, the National Trust, Naturetrek, the Hampshire Fungus Recording Group, the Hampshire Bat Group, the Fresh Water Habitats Trust and the Hampshire Ornithological Society.

There will be interactive stalls, guided walks, nature games and activities, live demonstrations and nature exploration.

Event organiser Amanda Pagett said: “Gilbert White is referred to as the father of ecology, and his work is some of the earliest in the fields of ornithology and phenology.

“We think it is essential to follow in his footsteps by raising public awareness about the diversity of nature around us. The aim of this event is to have fun whilst doing just that.”

The nature festival will run from 10.30am-5pm and costs £7 for adults and £3 for children, which includes access to the house and gardens as well as the activities.

At the same time, the museum is holding a 24-hour Bioblitz, which will move into the field studies centre after the festival closes.

Visitors and experts will collect data on species in the grounds, and the results - collated with help from the Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre team - will go towards the museum’s ‘Modern Natural History of Selborne’, continuing White’s legacy into the 21st century.

Evening activities include a talk by Naturetrek on exploration beyond the Selborne Hanger.

This will be followed by an investigation of the newts and bats below the hanger, led by the Natural History Museum’s identification trainers and Nik Knight from the Hampshire Bat Group.

Naturetrek will then lead an investigation of moths by setting up traps. Early on Sunday morning, the traps will be opened in order to record the moths collected.

Breakfast will be followed by a walk on Selborne Common with local National Trust warden Chris Webb.

The Bioblitz will end with a summary of the data collected.

These activities can be booked separately or as part of a Bioblitz ticket, which allows access to both the nature festival and the activities after 5pm.

For more information or to book, visit http://gilbertwhiteshouse.org.uk.