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Out & about


Thoreau and Emerson, so why not follow in their footsteps by venturing into the beautiful Workshop Tipi to try your hand at nature writing with author David Lassman? Finish your visit by joining a nature writing walk with the Writing Events Bath group and discover your inner creative in Victoria Park.


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he city of Bath is famous for its incredible landscape and extraordinary natural features. With the famous bubbling springs, unusually


rich in minerals, and a wealth of beautiful green spaces, it’s no wonder that the city is teeming with wildlife. On 7 June, the city’s incredible natural


diversity will be celebrated at the Festival of Nature: Bath Goes Wild, taking place in Queen Square in the heart of the city. After ten successful years in Bristol, the Festival of Nature is spreading its wings across the West of England for the first time, with the Bath event kicking off a week of activity across the region. Organised in partnership with B&NES


and the British Science Association, the free day-long family festival will be jam-packed with exhibitions, live shows and interactive encounters from local and national organisations including the National Trust, the BBC Natural History Unit, Avon Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. Here’s a taster of just five of the wild events you can get involved in . . .


Explore the incredible wildlife that Bath has to offer by joining a ‘Nature


of Bath’ walk with the Bath Natural History Society. Professor David Goode will be leading groups from Queen Square through Royal Victoria Park to discover Bath’s wild residents.


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Situated on Queen Square, the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution is an impressive example


Opposite page, clockwise from left: A fat-legged beetle on a daisy; using the field guide; up close with fungus; an ant on a leaf; taking a closer look This page, above: there will be plenty of activities for children on the day – all images © BNHC


of the gorgeous Georgian architecture for which the city is famous and during Bath Goes Wild it will be displaying an incredible collection of fossils from ‘The Jurassic Ecosystem of Strawberry Bank Ilminster Project’. Excavated over 150 years ago, these fossils display a rare state of preservation with flawlessly intricate details, whisking you back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the land. Top off your visit by joining a tour to BRLSI’s ‘dinosaur room’, where an enormous plesiosaur cast appears to glide through the walls.


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The natural world has inspired many of our greatest writers from Wordsworth and Coleridge through to


SPOTTER’S GUIDE


Bath is home to a variety of diverse species: keep your eyes peeled for these wilder residents this summer . . .


PEREGRINE FALCONS Credited with the title of fastest animal on earth, the peregrine has made a


dramatic recovery in the South West since the 1970s, after the bird’s near-extinction due to pesticides. Last year two peregrine chicks hatched on St John’s Church, where you often see them nestled atop the spire.


GREATER HORSESHOE BAT Hiding in the shadowy mines which penetrate the hills surrounding Bath, the


Greater Horseshoe Bat can be found hibernating during winter months. The species is rare in Britain but can often be seen feeding in fields and hedges around the city.


BATH ASPARAGUS Also named the Spiked Star of Bethlehem, the Bath Asparagus is a protected species rarely found in the UK. Thought to have been introduced to Britain by the Romans, it is often spotted towering along hedgerows and roadside verges in Bath’s country lanes.


CHALKHILL BLUE BUTTERFLY The Chalkhill Blue is a species of conservation


concern due to its patchy distribution across the UK. This warmth-loving butterfly can often be spotted in areas of short calcareous grassland and in bright sunshine when hundreds, if not thousands, of males can appear to create a shimmering carpet of blue.


OTTER


The improvement of water quality over the last few years has seen a huge increase in the population of otters around Bath. They can often be seen dipping and playing in the River Avon.


www.mediaclash.co.uk Bath Life 47 5


They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and you can find out


for yourself whether or not this is true with an incredible pop-up photography exhibition from Bath Photo Walk. There will also be a Photo Walk during the day for all levels which will take a closer look at the wildlife wonders that Bath has to offer.


Tucked around the corner from Queen Square is the impressive Royal


Mineral Water Hospital where, under the gaze of the ornate stained glass in the old Chapel, an inspiring programme of wildlife talks will be taking place. Discover the secrets of the shadowy ocean depths with talks from BBC cameramen Mike Pitts and Doug Allan, and BBC presenter and RSPB President Miranda Krestovnikoff, who will be revealing her ‘best dives of all time’. BL


Bath Goes Wild is a free event and takes place in Queen Square, Bath on 7 June. For more information visit www.bnhc.org.uk


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