Join in some Bugs! Day activities and learn about the wonderful world of minibeasts

Bee happyMillipede adventuresHungry caterpillar

EcoBuilder: an ecosytem dynamics game: Join Dr Samraat Pawar and play a computer game in which the player has to manage or build an ecosystem: how much can an ecosystem be pushed before it collapses? How fast can it recover? You can play here: EcoBuilder.

Pond dipping: Dr Eoin O'Gorman will be leading Pond Dipping sessions. Participants will learn all about the invertebrates hidden in ponds and look at their finds under a microscope.

Earthworm hunts: Victoria Burton will lead hunts for invertebrates in leaf litter and demonstrate to visitors how earthworms and other invertebrates are important in keeping soils healthy.

Fantastic Minibeasts and where to find them: Prof Tim Barraclough will introduce visitors to an invisible world full of strange invertebrate animals so small that even fleas and mites look giant by comparison. Thousands of these invisible animals live in every tiny patch of moss, and he’ll use powerful microscopes to hunt some down and take a peek into their world.

Up close and personal with mosquitos: mostly we think of mosquitoes as nuisances or even as carriers of deadly diseases. However, mosquitoes actually have very interesting lives. Lauren Cator will introduce us to some of their lesser known behaviours.

Big butterfly count: Butterflies are incredibly important friendly insects that react quickly to changes in their environment. Counting butterflies help us to understand trends in species and plan how to protect butterflies from extinction.

Bugs, carnivorous plants and us - how we're all related through evolution: explore the evolutionary tree of life and create your own interactive family tree with new software on the OneZoom stand at Bugs day. The designer, Dr James Rosindell, will be on hand to guide you through, he's also a carnivorous plant enthusiast and will have quite a few of these on display to talk to you about.

Meet prehistoric insects: millions of years ago, long before the dinosaurs, insects and their relatives ruled the Earth. We will have a selection of fossils to look at, in addition to interactive virtual scans of fossil creepy-crawlies.

Other contributors

A range of nature organisations will be on hand to help you discover more about bugs. Trevor Smith from Ascot Wildlife will be leading bug hunts in Silwood’s grounds. Syngenta will be talking about Operation Pollinator, an international biodiversity programme set up by Syngenta to help boost the number of pollinators on local farms. Find out how you can help conserve pollinators in your own back garden! There will also be bug-themed face painting and competitions with prizes to be won.

All activities are and entry are free. Refreshments, including a barbeque, will be available throughout the day at a small cost. For more information about Bugs! Day 2017 visit the event's website

Bugs! Day 2016

See some of the highlights of Bugs! Day 2016