Hartpury all set for Discover Zone debut at Science Festival


Hartpury will be showing young people the wonders of the wildlife on their doorsteps when The Times Cheltenham Science Festival kicks off tomorrow.

An exciting exhibit in the Festival’s free and interactive Discover Zone will give primary and secondary school pupils the chance to discover the secrets of the wild animals and insects living and hunting in our cities, towns and parks.

From pulling apart pellets to discover what owls have been eating to listening to the calls of bats hunting and learning how to make their own gardens a haven for hedgehogs and other animals that pound our pavements, the exhibit promises to open up the eyes and ears of visitors.

The Discover Zone will be open from 10am to 5pm every day of the Festival, which will run from tomorrow (June 2nd) to June 7th and interactive activities will be tailored to the age of the school groups attending on each day. There is also an adults only late session from 8pm to 10pm on Friday, June 5th with wildlife and conservation experts on hand to offer advice and answer any questions.

“With the youngest children, we’ll be helping them to identify the habitats that different animals live in and looking at how city-living animals get the food and drink they need to survive,” said Lucy Clarke, Subject Manager for Animal and Land Science at Hartpury.

“They will find out how dangerous it can be for animals when they eat from our rubbish bins and learn easy ways to make their gardens wildlife friendly, all with the help of giant food web!

“The older children will learn how to identify and name different species and learn about how they are related and interact with each other and their environments.

“There will be lots to see and do but I’m sure the owl pellets will be the most popular. Young people are always fascinated when they realise it is bones, feathers and fur that the owls have regurgitated. Once they get past being squeamish, they have great fun pulling them apart to find out what the owls have been hunting and munching on!”

Hartpury is also sponsoring one of the popular talks at the Festival, entitled ‘Dogs: Their Secret Lives’. The talk, which follows the Channel 4 investigation, will look at how a dog’s actions can tell us about what they are thinking and help us to make their lives better.

Hosted by vet and presenter Mark Evans, dog behaviourist Emily Blackwell and series producer, Kirsty Wilson, the talk will take place in the EDF Energy Arena between 2pm and 3pm on Sunday, June 7th. It will be introduced by Hartpury Principal, Russell Marchant.

To find out more about The Times Cheltenham Science Festival and to buy tickets, go to www.cheltenhamfestivals.com

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