Manchester Festival of Nature

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Paul Hayes

Thousands follow the buzz to Heaton Park

An amazing 7,000 people poured into the first ever Manchester Festival of Nature (MFoN) on Saturday 29 June 2019 to take part in a multitude of wild activities. 500 of those visitors dressed up as bees in an attempt to beat a World Record.

See below for what went on during the day, and keep your eyes peeled for our next event coming in June 2020.

Gallery from the day

The people of Manchester are so lucky to have such wonderful wildlife on their doorsteps, and we can't wait to help them experience it.

Who will be joining us?

Cheshire Wildlife Trust | RSPB | National Trust | City of Trees | The Conservation Volunteers | Royal Horticultural Society | Canal & River Trust | Let's Ride North West | Action for Conservation | Sustrans | Chester Zoo | Manchester Museum | Manchester Metropolitan University | Manchester City Council and its Heaton Park team

We'll also be joined by a range of fantastic community and volunteering groups ready to showcase their amazing work in your region.

Things to do

From bushcraft to wildflower planting, MFoN has something to enchant the young, the old, the young at heart and everyone in between.

Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children.
They disappeared so quietly that at first almost no one noticed – until one day, they were gone.

But there is an old kind of magic for finding what is missing, and for summoning what has vanished.
If the right spells are spoken, the lost words might return.

More about 'The Lost Words'

When words like ‘dandelion’, ‘otter’, ‘bramble’ and ‘acorn’ were removed from the children’s dictionary, two extraordinary people knew they had to do something to re-wild the language of children.

Robert Macfarlane (author of the extraordinary bestseller, ‘Landmarks’) and acclaimed artist Jackie Morris (who lives and breathes the natural world like almost no other), published ‘The Lost Words’ in October 2017. It is a collection of spell-poems and magical illustrations lovingly crafted to re-wild the language of children and enrich the landscape of wild imagination and wild play that is fading from many children’s’ minds.

Now, ‘The Lost Words’ has been transformed into an unforgettable live performance that will bring the magic of the book to life. Don’t miss this celebration of the creatures and plants with which we share our lives, in all their wonderful, characterful glory, and join the call to arms to halt the loss of the natural world all around us.

Want to experience life on the moors? Pay a visit to the Bogtastic van and learn more about these fascinating places, many of which are just a stone’s throw from Manchester city centre!

More about the Bogtastic van

Pioneered by the Moors for the Future Partnership, the Bogtastic van aims to inspire people about the moors and how they can help to look after these precious wild places. The van travels across the Peak District National Park and the South Pennines to spread the word about the importance of healthy moorlands, offering an opportunity to experience the unique sights, sounds and textures of the moors.

The Bogtastic van is part of a project called MoorLIFE 2020 which is funded by the EU LIFE programme, United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, Yorkshire Water and the Peak District National Park Authority.

Bushcraft

Ecotherapy

Matthew Roberts

Natural crafts

Joanna Kosinska/Unsplash

Wildflower planting

Forest School Skills

Bug hotel building

Penny Frith

Woodland walks

Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Tree and plant identification

Chris Lawrence

Den building

This will be a huge opportunity to showcase just how important wildlife is in the city.

Join our swarm for pollinators

Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

Do you get a buzz from bee-ing a record breaker? Do you want to take part in creating a new world record while raising awareness of the importance of pollinators? Have you got a bee costume handy, or can you use your craft skills to make one?

More about our world record attempt

We want to encourage people to find out more about bees and how we can help them. Bees and other pollinators have suffered catastrophic declines in the past few decades and we really need to ensure this ends with our generation.

Pollinators are responsible for around a third of everything we eat so they are vital to humanity. Now is the time to pay them back for the essential work they do.

At home you can help by creating 'nectar cafes' full of lovely nectar-rich plants for our favourite insects. You can also help by volunteering to create wildflower meadows across the region. There will be lots of opportunities to find out more about these activities at MFoN.

If we can create a new world record with thousands of people dressing as bees or in the colours of bumblebees, it will warn the world that we are close to an environmental disaster if these important insects continue to decline.

So get dressed up, catch the buzz (or tram) to MFoN and join the swarm in Heaton Park on Saturday 29 June 2019.

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