Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales


This October Amgueddfa Cymru had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Made in Roath community arts festival. Now in its 7th year, the festival celebrates creative talent by taking art out of the gallery and into the wider community, with an emphasis on social engagement and inclusivity.

During the weekend of 17th and 18th October, the Natural Science conservators and curators along with some amazing Made in Roath volunteers, contributed to the festival’s creative extravaganza by installing a pop-up museum in a residential house. The unique setting allowed us to display many of our scientific specimens in a completely different way and also to make great use of our outreach collections.

Our aim was to simply have fun with the specimens, to inspire curiosity and delight for our visitors, and reinforce the idea that museums can be a friendly, relaxed spaces. So that’s just what we did…. by placing a sheep in the kitchen, a giant ancient millipede on the worktop, a crocodile under the stairs and an ostrich skeleton in the bay window. We filled a snooker table full of insects, made blinds from pressed plants and replaced the cups and saucers in the welsh dresser with fossils and minerals. Our curators enjoyed weaving their humour into the displays in subtle ways too. Visitors may have noticed a fox and otter playing a family game together and spelling their names, the spider’s web in the garden with its own paper label and even the specially created 2015.032 accession number with reference to the year of the festival and the door number of the house! 

Thanks to everyone’s hard work, the exhibition was a huge success and was amazingly well received by the local community. We have a visitor book full of lovely comments to prove it!

We’d like to say special thanks to the local Roath celebrity, Boyd Clack, who cut the red ribbon and opened the museum for us; the property owners who let us take over their home; and our volunteers who warmly welcomed visitors over the weekend, helping us to bring the museum to life.

We hope that our collaborative work with Made in Roath will grow in the future, so we can find even more creative ways to engage the community with our science collections. Watch this space!

On Saturday 10th October, scientists from the Museum’s Natural Sciences Department and Cardiff University came together to mark both National Biology Week and Earth Science Week, and to prove that biology (and geology) does indeed rock!  Engaging displays and fun activities filled the Main Hall and were also scattered through the lower natural history galleries and Clore Learning Space.  Visitors collected a stamping sheet at the door and could claim a stamp for every activity they completed.  Everyone who collected ten stamps had the chance to colour in and make their own natural history badge to take home.  Museum scientists wowed visitors with specimens from our collections behind the scenes, including the largest seeds in the world, glow-in-the-dark minerals and huge scarab beetles.  Visitors could also explore sea creatures and seaweeds in a rock pool, and have a go at matching fossils to their correct place on a timeline of the Earth’s history.  Fans of the game ‘Operation’ had the opportunity to try their hand with an actual size, adult dummy version, courtesy of biologists from Cardiff University, who also presented a range of other fascinating topics, including what we can learn from road kill, how healthy babies are made, how toadstools get their white spots and how to extract DNA from strawberries.  Appropriately enough, the University’s team of geologists set up shop at the entrance to the Evolution of Wales gallery, and invited visitors to experiment with what makes an explosive volcano, try to bend rocks and have a go at stepping in the footsteps of dinosaurs.  The day also featured several family-friendly events linked to the ‘Reading the Rocks: the remarkable maps of William Smith’ exhibitionTheatr na nÓg gave three performances of a one-man play exploring Smith’s work from the point of view of his young Welsh apprentice, and scientific historian Dr Leucha Veneer gave a family talk looking at early ideas about rocks and fossils.

Hello Bulb Buddies,

There is only a week to go before planting day on 20th October! Are you ready? Here are some helpful resources to prepare you for planting your bulbs and for looking after them over the coming months! These are also on the Spring Bulbs for Schools website:

Before planting day you should have read these documents:

  • A Letter from Professor Plant (introduction to the project)
  • Adopt your Bulb (an overview of the care your Bulbs will need)
  • Planting your Bulbs (guidelines for ensuring a fair experiment)

And completed these activities:

  • Bulb Adoption Certificate
  • Make Bulb Labels

It's important you read these as they contain important information! For example, do you know how deep you need to plant your bulbs? Or how to label your pot so that you know where the Daffodil and Crocus are planted?

Remember to take photos of your planting day to enter into the Planting Day Photo Competition!

Best of luck Bulb Buddies! Let us know how you get on!

Professor Plant & Baby Bulb


Chalkie Davies: The NME Years

The exhibition has just come to an end and so it's finally time to award our prize winners. It was great to see so many people taking inspiration from Chalkie's work, and interacting with the show.

The man himself had a chance to judge all the entries and we're happy to announce our prizewinners with you! 

First Prize

@3gsdevtrust - Well done! A signed Chalkie print and swag bag is on its way to 3Gs Development Trust, who work with young people across Gurnos, Penydarren and Dowlais. 

Second Prize

@fezzer64 posted this picture of a happy rebel and wins a Spillers Records voucher and swag bag:

Third Prize


A Seetickets voucher will be on its way to Aaron for this twisted and moody shot taken in Cathays Park

Chalkie also picked five runners up, who get a swag bag each: David Jones, @tflathers, @daniellestalbot, Paul Hurlow and @softfun. You can check out their entries, and more, on the #mychalkieimage storify.

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who took part - and of course, to Chalkie for judging the photos for us. Have a look at everyone's entries on our #mychalkieimage storify. If you missed the show, learn a bit more about Chalkie and his iconic work below:

The Natural Sciences Department at National Museum Cardiff have once again taken their 'I Spy...Nature' Pop-up museum to the Capitol Shopping Centre in Cardiff during this year's summer holidays. 

Our younger visitors were encouraged to utilise their drawing skills to draw some of the fantastic specimens from Amgueddfa Cymru Collections on display as part of a drawing competition. Examples were fossils, minerals, marine creatures, flowers and bugs from all around the world. We had some fantastic entries and it was extremely difficult to pick the winners. However, after much deliberation we eventually managed to pick a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in three age categories (under 6, 6-9 and 10-13 years). Due to the fact that it was so hard to choose winners we also selected a couple of highly commended drawings.

Each winner will receive a natural history inspired prize from the Museum's shop and will receive a special behind the scenes tour of the museum to find out what museum scientists do and where we house the museum's natural history collections, which comprise of over 3 million specimens.

We very much look forward to welcoming our prize-winners and their families to the museum.