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British Science Festival - Bell Meadow Dates and Times

Get back in touch with the natural world as we kick off the British Science Festival in Chelmsford City Centre!

Bell Meadow Park will be the go-to location to experience your environment through a fascinating and fun-filled afternoon of activities.

Whether you're keen to try your hand at some ancient Egyptian gardening practices, or discover how conservationists 'track and trace' endangered species in the African savannah, we've got you covered.

So let's not beat about the bush'read on to book your time slot for these al-fresco events, which you can enjoy whilst sipping a delicious coffee from nearby Acanteen or unwinding in picturesque surroundings.

Booking a timeslot guarantees admission to Bell Meadow: back to nature, where you can drop-in to any or all of the following drop-in activities. Booking is encouraged but we may be able to accommodate non-ticket holders on the day.

Wildlife friendly gardening

The Sinai Bedouin communities of Egypt are famous for their sustainable gardening.

What can we learn from these ancient farming practices that can help us improve our own gardens?

Olivia Norfolk (Anglia Ruskin University) will lead gardening sessions, discussing how to apply the Bedouin lessons to produce wildlife friendly gardens.

By studying agricultural practices that have survived for over 1,000 years, we can learn how to manage resources in a sustainable way and get the most out of our gardens and allotments, whilst helping biodiversity to thrive.

The story of Essex in rocks

How can slate, clay, chalk and flint act as time capsules, uncovering millions of years of history?

From erupting volcanos to floods and ice sheets, the dynamic story of lost worlds in deep time is told by the rocks and fossils we find across the county.

Join Geologists Ros and Ian Mercer, from the Essex Rock & Mineral Society and GeoEssex, to explore rocks and fossils from the local area surrounding Chelmsford and delve into the story of Essex.

Saving species: the tracker's toolkit

Conservation biologists track wildlife to protect animals in their natural habitats.

Brush up on your bush skills and see how you fare with the tracking techniques that Colchester Zoo biologists use in the field. Get hands-on as you learn to identify wildlife based on the signs they leave behind, using everything from camera trap images, to nibbled plants and animal droppings!

Discover how these skills help biologists rewild degraded habitats, improve ecosystem connectivity and increase biodiversity at the UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in South Africa.

Oysters: the ecosystem engineers

Join the Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative (ENORI) to experience the environmental and economic value of oysters in your local area and the wider UK, through hands-on activities that will let you get up close and personal with some real life oysters!

ENORI, based out of the Zoological Society of London are conducting cutting edge research to develop new approaches to coastal conservation, and celebrate the importance of the remarkable shellfish that are known as ?ecosystem engineers.' Chat with the team and come away with plenty of pearls of wisdom!

Talks and Workshops

If you're hungry for more, check out the following talks and workshops going on in Bell Meadow Park and Acanteen at the same time as Bell Meadow: back to nature. Book onto these events via the links below.

Sci-fi: changing the world - 12.00-12.30 - Acanteen

Nature for Wellbeing - 12.30-13.15 - Bell Meadow Park

When humans started to talk - 13.00-13.30 - Acanteen

Talking with birds - 13.30-14.00 - Bell Meadow Park

Sleeper cells in the sea - 14.00-14.30 - Acanteen

What's the deal with "green" plastics? - 14.30-15.15 - Bell Meadow Park

The Margaret Cavendish Poetry Club - 15.00-15.45 - Acanteen

If you're hungry for more, check out the following talks and workshops going on in Bell Meadow Park and Acanteen at the same time as Bell Meadow: back to nature. Book onto these events via the links below and dont forget that delicious hot drinks and sandwiches will be on sale throughout the day

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More Information about British Science Festival - Bell Meadow

If you or anyone else in your group, have any accessibility requirements that you think we should know about, please book an 'Accessible ticket', which will then give you an opportunity to tell us how we can help make your British Science Festival visit the best possible. We will do our very best to accommodate all requests.