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Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales

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3 days to Beachwatch!

Katie Mortimer-Jones, 18 September 2013

BEATCHWATCH – Saturday 21 September

10.30am – 12pm. Amgueddfa Cymru staff will be running  fun family activities for the public to  help them learn about the biology and geology of Ogmore beach. They will be looking at rock pools, strandlines, rocks and fossils along the shore.This year we will also have a fun ART activity involving plaster of paris and seashells. These morning activities are now fully booked, but you can still come along in the afternnoon to help out with the beach clean.

1pm – 2.30pm. Help with the Marine Conservation Society’s annual beach clean (Open to all).

Where: Ogmore Beach, Vale of Glamorgan. Meeting on the beach at Ogmore beach car park – down the ramp in front of the lifeguard centre.

Suitable for all ages, hope to see you there.

A batty summer at St Fagans!

Hywel Couch, 12 September 2013

I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe how quickly August flew by! It seems as if it was only yesterday that schools were breaking up, but now it is already time for us to welcome school visits again for a brand new school year! 

This summer was slightly different for myself in St Fagans. Due to the redevelopment project we have lost use of the Tŷ Gwyrdd eco house, so our summer events this year had a slightly more nomadic feel than normal! It was nice to visit other parts of the museum and to explore some of the wildlife found in different places. 

In total this summer, around 1000 people took part in a variety of nature activities within the museum, from minibeast bug hunts in the woods to our very popular twilight bat walks around the site.

The summer began with us re-opening the bird hide at its new location near Hendre Wen barn. After initial worries of whether we would attract similar numbers of birds as the previous location, I was very relieved after spending 30 minutes in the hide and spotting 11 different species. Hopefully we will continue to attract such a wide variety of birds to our feeders. The bird hide is open every day, so on your next visit be sure to pop in and see what you spot! 

In August we had a bit of a bat scare at the Tannery. The Tannery building is home to a roost of rare Lesser Horseshoe bats. A small electrical fire broke out one morning in the room directly below the roof space where the bats normally roost. Thankfully a quick response from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service ensured that the fire did not spread. Luckily, the bats had flown to an area of the building unaffected by the fire. The story even made it onto the BBC website! Thanks to Anwen for the pictures!

The bats have now returned to their normal roosting spot and they seem to have been largely unaffected by the event. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for our bat camera which is situated in the building. A combination of smoke and water damage means that we will have to replace the camera, which we will be doing as soon as possible! 

Bats at St Fagans seem to be going from strength to strength. We have 11 of the 18 British species known roosting within the museum grounds, including the elusive Nathusius Pipistrelle bat which has been found roosting in 2 of our buildings. Previous to this, there were only 2 known roosting locations for this species in the whole of Wales. This story also made the news recently! 

This year we held 3 Twilight Batwalks, all of which booked up well in advance. Thanks to all who came and apologies to anyone who tried to book but were unable to! Next year we are planning on having 4 walks throughout August, with the possibility of more depending on demand! If you came on one of our batwalks, or took part in any nature events this summer, please let us know what you though, either by commenting here or sending an us an email! 

Finally a big thanks to our new team of volunteers who helped out over the summer! Having an extra pair or two of hands during workshops and events is invaluable and means that we can offer a better experience to our visitors. I look forward to working with you again in the near future!

Lesser Horseshoe Bat at the Tannery
Firemen tackling the fire at the Tannery
Look at all the smoke!

Rhondda Super Scientists

Danielle Cowell, 8 July 2013

Williamstown Primary School pupils, in the Rhondda Valleys, were awarded first place amongst the sixty three Welsh schools taking part in the Museum's Spring Bulbs for Schools investigation this year.

The class of Super Scientists won a fun-packed nature trip to St Fagans: National History Museum where they were awarded certificates. As part of the day trip they studied newts, looked for mini-beasts, watched bats and built giant nests in the woodland!

Professor Plant: ''They all had a great day and should be very proud of how they represented their school. The standard was very high this year, the schools are getting better and better at recording and logging their data. Williamstown did extremely well with their recording and really got involved in the project from the start last November until the end in the spring - which came very late this year!"

Alison Hall, Teacher at Williamstown Primary: "The pupils said it was the best day out they had ever had - they loved viewing the bat roost in particular! In terms of the investigation, the children have have loved the whole process from planting and recording to measuring and waiting for the first bloom to appear. It has been great for improving their science, numeracy and ICT skills. We are now really enthused about nature and the environment and are keen to set-up more outdoor investigations in our school grounds".

If you would like to take part in this project next term - please complete the on-line application form: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/1738/

To see our teacher evaluation report - follow this link: https://scan.wufoo.com/reports/spring-bulbs-for-schools-evaluation-report/

As you can see from the evaluation question below the project is very cross-curricular:

 

 

 

Receiving Super Scientist certificates.
Giant nest building competition.
Warming-up.
Mini- beast hunting - spot the millipede!
A closer look.
Palmate newt in the palm. Just one of three species living at St Fagans.
Pupil with dragon fly nymph.
Visiting the Tannery - where the newts and bats live.

Spring Bulb for Schools: Results 2005-2013

Danielle Cowell, 13 June 2013

The ‘Spring Bulbs for Schools’ project allows 1000s of schools scientists to work with Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales to investigate and understand climate change.

Since October 2005, school scientists have been keeping weather records and noting when their flowers open, as part of a long-term study looking at the effects of temperature on spring bulbs.

Certificates have now been sent out to all the 3,979 pupils that completed the project this year.

See Professor Plant's reports or download the spreadsheet to study the trends for yourself!

  • Make graphs & frequency charts or calculate the mean.
  • See if the flowers opened late in schools that recorded cold weather.
  • See how temperature, sunshine and rainfall affect the average flowering dates.
  • Look for trends between different locations.
     
Many Thanks

Professor Plant

www.museumwales.ac.uk/scan/bulbs

Twitter http://twitter.com/Professor_Plant

Facebook Professor Plant

Daffodil Drawing Competition 2013

Catalena Angele, 23 May 2013

I announced the Winners and Runners Up of the Daffodil Drawing Competition a couple of weeks ago, and now their fantastic drawings are now up on our website for you all to see!

In this competition I was looking for botanical illustrations – these are pictures of plants drawn in a scientific way. This means I was looking for beautiful pictures but they also needed to have clear labels to show the different parts of the Daffodil.

1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive a bird watching kit with mini binoculars. Runners Up will receive flower seeds for the garden.

Click here to view this year’s Winners and Runners Up.

http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/3956/

Many thanks,

Prof P