Blustery winds and a bit of rain definitely didn’t stop us from having a great time at Go Wild on Sunday. Last week was Wales Nature Week, so we headed to Parc Penallta (right next to Nelson’s bog) with SEWBReC for Go Wild; an all-day event run by Caerphilly council, aimed at educating the public about their local wildlife through various engaging information stalls and fun kids’ activities.
At the event we had a table displaying some of Mary’s field work and nature diaries, which helped us to teach people about Mary’s life and dedicated career in wildlife conservation. We also made sure to give out our Mary Gillham species identification sheets, which proved to be a big hit with the young wildlife recorders.
A wide variety of wildlife specimens were also showcased on the table, such as birds’ nests, mermaids’ purses, moth pupae and snakeskin, to name a few. A tank of crawling creatures was a popular attraction on our table as children tried to spot as many insects as they could among the wild flowers, including a bright pink and green, newly emerged elephant hawk moth.
There were four marquees full of various wildlife-related stalls, including the Colliery Spoil Biodiversity Initiative; providing information about the biodiversity on colliery spoil tips and showcasing insects in a coal tip tank, and Head4Arts; a community arts organisation raising awareness of endangered species in the UK through fun drawing and painting activities.
Children had plenty of extra entertainment; heaps of fun was had with a story-telling corner, a climbing wall, balloon modelling and a mini obstacle course. You could even get your face painted for free (which we did, of course!).
Stalls selling handmade crafts and locally sourced food items were also plentiful, so there was something there for everyone.
Overall we had a successful day sparking excitement in people of all ages about their local wildlife; something that Mary herself was very passionate about. Big thanks to George, one of our lovely volunteers, for filming us at the event; something we look forward to sharing with you all soon!