Wonderful Wasps!

Many people are wary of wasps, they like interrupting our picnics, they can look a bit fierce, and some have a sting in the tail, but it’s well worth getting to know this amazingly diverse group of insects. Our next Crunchy on the outside event for young people interested in nature, and insects in particular, is Wonderful Wasps! It’s at the Museum on Wednesday 28 December, 10.30-12.00pm.

We’ll be finding out about some amazing wasp species, looking at the Museum collections to see the fantastic range of different wasps in the UK, and making our own wasp models.

It’s free but booking is essential. To book a place please email hopelearning@oum.ox.ac.uk

We hope your New Year resolution will be to look after our wonderful wasps!

Take a look at our article on fig wasps here: Fabulous Fig Wasps.

Pictures from our ‘Big Draw’ Event

During the October half-term school break a group of aspiring young artists gathered in the Westwood Room for our latest Crunchy on the outside event. We have now put some images from the event on our Photo Gallery for you to enjoy.

During the event, we all had a go at cartooning with Chris (you can have a go too, with this minotaur beetle video), biological drawing with Rodger, and our own art using a range of media. Danielle and Matt also showed us some artistic treasures from the Museum archives.

If you attended, took a drawing home to finish and would like us to include it, please email it to hopelearning@oum.ox.ac.uk.

Of course we’re always interested in seeing artwork and photos of insects by any of our followers. send them in using the same address and we’ll add them to our gallery too!

Say Hello at Harcourt Arboretum

Come and see us at Harcourt Arboretum on Monday 24 October. The HOPE For the Future stand will feature lots of insect specimens and our ‘To Bee or not to Bee’ challenge.

We will be joining our friends at the Arboretum to support The Wonderful World of Insects, an interactive family show from WhatNot theatre company that explores themes of biodiversity, the importance of insects and their declining populations, and the connections between plant life and insects.

The show will run at 12.30pm or 2.30pm encourages us all to learn to love, respect and care for our six-legged friends. It is included with entry to the Arboretum but registration is required. Please book your day ticket as normal (not needed for annual pass holders or Friends) and then reserve your space for either show here. (Note: this is a link to an event booking site)

You don’t need to register for the Hope For the Future stand – just pop along and see us during your visit to the Arboretum! We will be there from 12pm to 3.30pm.

Still time to book for The Big Draw: Insects! on 26 October

We still have a few places left for The Big Draw: Insects! at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford. Aimed at 10-14 year olds, this is your chance to try out different styles of drawing, see amazing art from the Collections, and be one of the first visitors to enter the newly-refurbished Westwood Room. Please use the Contact Us page or email us at hopelearning@oum.ox.ac.uk to book a place.

The Big Draw: Insects!

Our next event for young entomologists, aged 10-14, will be ‘The Big Draw: Insects!‘ on Wednesday 26 October 2022, 10.30am – 12pm at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford.

Timed to coincide with the half-term break for local schools and to link in with other ‘Big Draw’ events in October, The Big Draw: Insects! is your chance to try your hand at drawing insects in three different styles: artistic, scientific and cartooning.

We’ll be based in the newly-refurbished Westwood Room at the museum and will be drawing a range of exciting insects from the museum’s collections. This event is suitable for all abilities from beginners to those who already enjoy drawing frequently.

The Big Draw: Insects! is free but you need to book in advance by emailing us at hopelearning@oum.ox.ac.uk

If you’re interested in cartooning, you might be interested in this post by Chris Jarvis on Drawing a Minotaur Beetle.

Life, as we know it

If you have visited the Museum lately you may have noted some changes. Some sections have been closed and some mysterious sounds have been heard from behind the boards that hide the view. What is going on?

Well, some exciting changes are coming! The main court is being revitalised with the first major redisplay of the permanent exhibitions for over 20 years. Visitors will be able to experience our collections like they never have done before, with new displays showcasing Life, as we know it.

The new displays will focus on the interaction between the changing geology of our planet with how life has evolved on Earth. Our new exhibits will trace the story of life on Earth and celebrate our planet’s incredible diversity of life. They will also encourage visitors to think about the future, as well as the past. We want to inspire our 750,000+ yearly visitors to take action to help preserve global biodiversity.

Artist's impression of how some of the new displays about the diversity of life will look
Artist’s impression of how some of the new displays will look

You may have already seen the first phase of Life, as we know it. In 2018 our Out of the Deep displays were installed. The work going on now is Phase 2 of the project and we will be continuing work on Life, as we know it over the next few years, with plans to update exhibits that extend throughout the Museum.

Out of the Deep

Things might look a bit unfinished at the moment, but were doing our best to keep disruption to a minumum. Right now, you can get an exciting glimpse of the displays as they come together, including new insect exhibits. Later in the Autumn you’ll be able to enjoy the finished results!

Have you seen anything new in the Museum? Let us know by getting in touch using our Contact Us page.