Bugs and Beasts

Families enjoyed a free fun-filled weekend about bugs, insects, all things that creep and crawl, and beasts big and small!

Norwich Science Festival took over Waterloo Park in Norwich on 23 and 24 July 2022, and celebrated the wonders of bugs and beasts. The free event was kindly sponsored by Pensthorpe, and featured bee-themed walkabout acts, bug-inspired crafting, face painting, and even a special guest appearance from CBeebies star, vet and author Jess French.

Over 2,000 nature lovers turned up over the weekend to get up close to minibeasts, have a go at pond dipping and do a dinosaur trail! Huge thanks to Pensthorpe for sponsoring the event, and the support of Norwich City Council, Friends of Waterloo Park, Phelps Charitable Trust and Catton Grove Big Local.  

Bee-themed performers Bumblina, Queen of the Bees, from Amy Amelia Arts, and the adorable, fluffy Bumble Bees, from Circii, buzzed around the park on both days.

The RSPB led demos on how to make your own bird feeder using recycled materials from around the home.

The Zoological Society Of East Anglia hosted 'Bug or Beast' games and activities.

Families discovered the wonder of minibeasts with Norfolk Wildlife Trust, made paper potters, did bug crafting, played a natural history matching game, and took a guided plant ID tour.

BugzUK brought the minibeasts! Chlidren enjoyed handling millipedes, tarantulas, scorpions, praying mantis, stick insects, and even cockroaches!

Children enjoyed the giant colouring challenge and Extraordinary Extinct Dinosaur Trail from Dodo and Dinosaur.

Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery (Norfolk Museums Service) showed off insect specimens from around the natural world.

Visitors to the Redwings Horse Sanctuary stand played the 'Pin the Parasite on the Pony' game, examined veterinary samples such as worms and teeth, and dared to put their hand in the ‘feely boxes’ and guess what’s inside!

Families had a go at the microbe rubbings trail from UEA School of Biological Sciences, examined preserved ground beetles and learnt about their latest citizen science project.

Everyone enjoyed the story of Blake's Small Adventure (Paramecium Press) read by author Rachel Cladingbowl and Bookbugs and Dragon Tales. Blake is tiny organism who is so small that the other organisms in his pool can’t see him. He dreams of a life beyond his pool and then one day, the tide takes him out on quite the adventure!

Bookbugs and Dragon Tales had a pop-up bookshop, with a wide selection of books on nature, outdoors, and bugs and beasts. 

Plus there was also bug drawing with Charli Vince, learning about soil with the Master Composters, discovering the inventions Summer Reading Challenge with Norfolk Library and Information Service, and finding out more about the work of the Friends of Waterloo Park.

Bumble Bees at Bugs and Beasts. Photo Simon Finlay Photography