This event happened in the past (2019 edition)

Our Natural World – Nature Day

The Explorium

This is an event from the 2019 edition

The Explorium
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Explore the wonders of our natural world, from the tiniest creatures imaginable to the vastness and importance of our oceans. Find out how we can help save bees and make a bee hotel with Bee Saviour Behaviour, plus embark on the bumblebee trail from the Earlham Institute. Become a bird with the interactive Fly: The Bird Migration Game from UEA. Discover why it’s important to care for our waterways, with Anglian Water’s RiverCare team. Plus activities from Veolia, Pensthorpe, Broads Authority, Natural England, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Hawk and Owl Trust, Wellcome Genome Campus, Back from the Brink – Shifting Sands, Greenpeace, Hethel Innovation, BTO, NUA and more.


Where Have You BEEn? The Bumblebee Trail

How can we help to save bees? Possibly by planting the best wildflowers, but which flowers to bees like to visit, and where? Come and take part in this exciting trail, from the award-winning Pink Pigeon Trail team, where you’ll discover how genomics can help conserve species.

Bees, like many insects, are under threat. This is a problem because bees are responsible for pollinating many important crops, as well as many wild flowers in the countryside. If we are to keep bee populations healthy, and produce nutritious and healthy food, it’s important that we conserve important natural habitats.

Based on the highly successful Pink Pigeon Trail, including our famous LEGO DNA sequencing machine, this trail will take you on a journey from collecting pollen from bees, sequencing the DNA, and finding out which plants bees like to visit. At the end, you’ll have discovered many important facts about why its good that we can use modern technology to help us do this quickly and efficiently, helping ensure the future of bees and the plants they pollinate.

Stickers, LEGO, and a big badge at the end – as well as learning about the exciting science at the Earlham Institute – what more could you want?

The Earlham Institute is Decoding Living Systems, unlocking the secrets of life from its home on Norwich Research Park. Using cutting edge technologies for genome sequencing, along with one of the biggest supercomputers of its kind, our scientists use data driven approaches to understand life on earth and help tackle important issues such as food security, conservation, and human health.

Earlham Institute
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Bee Curious and Solitary Bee Hotel Workshops

Bee Saviour beeInspiring a community of bee saviour citizens, Bee Saviour Behaviour is a not-for-profit co-op taking #savethebees to the streets. Drop in on their Solitary Bee Hotel Making Workshops and get involved in two interactive Bee Curious sessions (11.30am, 1pm) making a buzz about some of a bee’s best secrets.

Solitary Bee Hotel Making Workshops – solitary bee hotels are a great way to encourage wild bees into your garden and neighbourhood and the great thing is that they can be made out of things we have lying about. Bring an old mug (straight-sided), decorate it and turn it into your very own hotel for wild bees.

Bee on Bee Saviour cardBee Curious Sessions – the wonders of a bee life are quite boggling… in this 15 minute session Bee Saviour Behaviour will be making a buzz about some of a bee’s best secrets with an interactive adventure to amaze you and get you thinking differently about the local bees in your neighbourhood.

Bee Saviour Behaviour is a new Norwich not-for-profit co-operative organisation inspiring a community of bee saviour citizens. Their mission is to promote biodiversity, improve things for our local bees and inspire some bee curiosity with their sugar solution carrier that fits in your wallet for reviving exhausted bees, their projects and campaigns.

Bee Saviour Behaviour logo

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Anglian Water

Join the RiverCare and Keep Britain Tidy groups to learn about the latest environmental initiatives that help to keep our rivers clean.

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The Tree of Life

Tree of LifeWellcome Genome Campus is embarking on a mission to sequence all the creatures in the UK! Everything from animals to microscopic fungi have DNA and by studying this we can unlock a wealth of knowledge. Come and see how we are doing this and just what we might discover!

The Wellcome Genome Campus (based near the village of Hinxton, south of Cambridge) is a world leading genomic research campus which is home to the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute. Together these institutes are committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale and imagination to solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

The original focus of the Sanger Institute was to understand genomes particularly through large scale sequencing and analysis. A leader in the Human Genome Project we are now focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. Our research uncovers the basis of genetic and infectious disease. We aim to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens.

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) provides data from life science experiments free to the global scientific community and performs research in computational biology. As the European centre for bioinformatics services, the institute manages over 50 databases of biological data including nucleic acid, protein sequences and macromolecular structures. We provide access to this data to more than 6 million researchers around the world. The EBI contributes to the advancement of biology through research in bioinformatics and helps train scientists to use bioinformatics tools and resources.

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Fly: The Bird Migration Game 

Migratory birdsTransform into a bird on migration from Europe to Africa in this interactive board game!

Along the way, you’ll learn about the risks birds face on their migratory journeys and the behaviours that birds use to have a successful migration.

Kate Rogerson is a Postgraduate Researcher in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia.


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Follow the journey of a milk bottle through its lifecycle, and how waste is dealt with. Find out how landfills are restored and the biodiversity they support, including turtle doves, foxes and badgers. See a waste vehicle in action! Plus enter the Veolia competition to win some goodies!


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Back from the Brink: Saving England’s Most Threatened Species from Extinction

Shifting SandsDiscover the unique ecology and habitats of the Brecks, and the incredible biodiversity that they sustain. Learn more about the rare plants and animals living in East Anglia, and how the Shifting Sands team are working to bring them back from the brink of extinction.

Back from the Brink is one of the most ambitious conservation projects ever undertaken. Its aim – to save 20 species from extinction and benefit over 200 more, through 19 projects that span England. The Shifting Sands project focuses on securing a future for the Brecks. The Brecks straddles the Norfolk and Suffolk border, and is one of the most unusual landscapes in England; it is home to nearly 13,000 species, some of which are found nowhere else on earth! Shifting Sands will restore and create a mosaic of habitats for the Brecks’ rarest wildlife. We are extending and connecting the forest corridor network to encourage and reintroduce rare plants, and link it to patches of heathland. The heaths were, for hundreds of years, home to lots of rabbits – great habitat engineers, which are now in sharp decline. We aim to boost rabbit populations on these heaths, so that rare plants and animals can recolonise the more open, rabbit-disturbed ground. By the end of the project, we aim to have improved the conservation status of many of the Brecks’ iconic wildlife species, some of them among the rarest and most threatened in the UK.

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Playing with the Science of Sustainable 

sustainable citiesPicture the perfect sustainable city. What features does it have? Maybe electric car charging points? Solar panels and green roofs? How about compost toilets? Meet staff and students from the University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts, and find out how sustainable changes and the city of the future might be more achievable than you think!

Jake Montanarini is a postgraduate research student at Norwich University of the Arts, and an alumnus of the University of East Anglia.


Disasters Passed


What does it feel like to have a volcano erupt all over your home land? How do we monitor and understand their activity?

Scientists and emergency responders can learn a lot from the people of the Caribbean about how to cope with hazards like volcanoes, and we are using an interactive exhibit to bring that learning to life!

Using the example of the long-lived eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat, we have created an interactive exhibit called Disasters Passed?. Inside our volcano-shaped ‘tent’ you can explore what it feels like to be caught up in an eruption, the pulse of a volcano’s magmatic heart, and how we can monitor its changes. Listen to recorded songs and stories, and watch the flow of magma that builds up to an explosion! This exhibit is created with and for the people of Montserrat, but you can enjoy an exclusive sneaky peak at the Norwich Science Festival.

UEA’s volcano team will be joined by colleagues Teresa Armijos Burneo and Wendy McMahon from the Schools of International Development and Art, Media and American Studies, plus special guest Dr Karen Pascal, who is coming all the way from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory!

Disasters Passed? is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund and is a collaboration between UEA, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, the Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies, the British and Montserrat Red Cross and Output Arts. We are very grateful for all the contributions from the community on Montserrat, whose voices you will hear.

Prof Jenni Barclay is Professor of Volcanology in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

Wendy McMahon is a Senior Lecturer in American Studies in the School of Art, Media and American Studies at the University of East Anglia.

Teresa Admijos Burneo is a Lecturer in Natural Resources and International Development in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia.

Dr Karen Pascal is a Research Fellow in Volcano Seismology at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.


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Hunting for Cable Bacteria

cable bacteriaDeep within the silt sediments of salt marshes and freshwater lakes live strange, newly-discovered microbes called cable bacteria.

Harvest your own cable and see what they look like under a microscope!

Dr Tom Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia.


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Giving nature a home RSPB

RSPB Information StandJoin the RSPB stand to find out how to give nature a home, pick up top tips for caring for the wildlife in your area and make FREE mini bird feeders to take home!

The RSPB was formed to counter the barbarous trade in plumes for women’s hats, a fashion responsible for the destruction of many thousands of egrets, birds of paradise and other species whose plumes had become fashionable in the late Victorian era.

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Norfolk Wildlife Trust

Visit the Norfolk Wildlife Trust stand and find out more about the wonderful wildlife which can be found in Norfolk.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust is the oldest Wildlife Trust in the country. The purchase of 400 acres of marsh at Cley on the north Norfolk coast in 1926 to be held ‘in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary’ provided a blueprint for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK. From humble beginnings we now have over 35,500 members, more than 100 corporate members, and eight thriving local members groups. We give conservation advice to a wide variety of organisations and individuals; provide education services for over 5,000 young people on school and university field trips each year; run hundreds of informative and fun events at our reserves, and care for over 50 nature reserves and other protected sites encompassing wetland, heathland, woodland and coastal habitats that provide a home for flagship species including otter, water vole, natterjack toad, bittern, common crane, marsh harrier, bearded tit, swallowtail and Norfolk hawker.

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Naturally Inspiring Every Generation – with Pensthorpe Natural Park

Pop along to the Pensthorpe Natural Park to discover more about our local wildlife and why the park offers a great day out for all the family. With four truly spectacular gardens offering a source of inspiration for every season; 300 acres of reserve to explore packed full of diverse habitats; the chance to get really close to our wildlife and multi-award winning indoor and outdoor adventure play areas which are bound to tire out even the most energetic of explorers!

Set in the heart of the Wensum Valley, in North Norfolk, multi-award winning Pensthorpe Natural Park is an outdoor adventure awaiting for every generation. It is a true showcase for British wildlife, beautiful gardens and adventure play, no matter what the weather. Encounter Flamingos, Cranes and Red Squirrels; four beautiful and unique gardens; larger than life bugs on the Bug Trail; and learn more about Pensthorpe Conservation Trust’s ‘Actively Saving Species’ projects. Families can unwind together in WildRootz, an outdoor adventure play area and Hootz House, the award winning indoor play area, complete with soft play for the under 5s.

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East of England Apples & Orchards Project

See displays of over 150 apple varieties including many local to Norfolk and East Anglia. Visitors are invited to bring along any unidentified apples on the day, from their gardens, allotments or orchards to be identified by our experts. The older the trees are the more likely they will be something of interest, possibly even one of the 30 ‘lost’ Norfolk apple varieties we are still searching for.



Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society (NNNS)

NNNS is Norfolk’s oldest natural history organisation. Come and meet the team, see wildlife exhibits on show, and find out what you can do to record the county’s wildlife. Plus, watch a specially made film all about the history of NNNS and what they do!

Founded in 1869, this year they are celebrating their 150th birthday. Throughout its life the members of the NNNS have been collecting and sharing valuable data on the county’s wildlife. You can play a valuable part in the recording process by contributing records of your own observations or supporting this work by joining the Society. You do not need to be an expert. An interest in the natural world is enough, and you can foster and develop that interest by taking part in their programme of meetings and field trips.

Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society

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Science Scribbles

Science Scribbles merchandisePick up some fantastically fun science merch at Norwich Science Festival!

Science Scribbles is an online store that sells science-themed merchandise such as fun and colourful stickers, postcards and bookmarks.

The store was created by Lauren Callender, a PhD student on a mission to encourage and inspire younger generations to pursue a career in science.

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Hethel Innovation

Come and learn about Hethel Innovation, a company that works to support businesses involved with all kinds of Science and Technology. Chat to us about STEM careers and the interesting projects we get involved with such as clean energy and technology that can help the environment, and try out one of our fun activities!

We’ll be on hand to chat to anyone about what our company does and the interesting technology and science we see every day. We’ll even have a few simple activities for younger children to have a go at like making a paper windmill, rocket or catapult.

Hethel Innovation run two incubator sites within Norfolk, including Hethel Engineering Centre and Scottow Enterprise Park.

With over 150 businesses between them, the Hethel team engages with exciting businesses working at the boundaries of technology every day. The company also provides free business support to any business in the East of England as part of their current project, Breakthrough.

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British Trust for Ornithology

Explore BTO’s Cuckoo Tracking Project and find out what we’ve discovered so far about this amazing bird.




Plus facepainting from Charlie Vince, and activities from Greenpeace, Hoveton Great Broad Restoration Project, Broads Authority, Hawk and Owl Trust, and National Trust.

Please note that Easton & Otley College are no longer attending.


Tuesday 22 October
Venue: The Forum’s Explorium
Cost: Free, drop-in
Age: All ages