Meet Mission: Invertebrates newest team member - Charlie!
Find out what he has been up to and what the team has in store for the rest of 2019!
I’m Charlie and I have recently joined Bryony, Kirsty, Claire and Alice as the Learning Assistant for Mission: Invertebrate. While studying Biology at university, I volunteered with several opportunities from science festivals to bumblebee surveys. Since then, I have completed traineeships at an educational farm and with The Wildlife Trust, and worked for a charity offering forest school sessions for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I have carried on my volunteering throughout because I love it and these roles have helped me so much to become more confident, develop different skills and learn about nature. All of my voluntary roles have had a link to education and/or wildlife (often invertebrate-focussed), such as a local outdoor education centre (Hill End Centre), the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre, and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The environment sector (as with a lot of charitable sectors) can be difficult to get into but volunteering and building experiences over the last few years has helped me immensely and I’m excited to be working in my new role with Mission: Invertebrate and using what I have learned from various experiences.
During the past eight weeks, Mission: Invertebrate has worked with visiting school groups learning about pollinators, recyclers and invertebrates as food, gone on tour with our roadshow during the Easter and May half term school holidays, taught over 300 children in one day about invertebrates in Syon Park and even hosted activities for a world-wide BioBlitz competition to help London climb the City Nature Challenge leader board. We have also created invertebrate habitats and food sources around London by building a bug hotel, laying wildflower turf, and planting native hedgerow whips. (And just like those hedgerow whips, our team is growing!!)
What's coming up?
Over the coming months, Mission: Invertebrate has some exciting plans for London – including some brilliant opportunities for you to get involved!
We will be welcoming more school groups to Hyde Park to search for minibeasts and learn about their roles as pollinators, decomposers, and as a part of food chains.
(Schools can book sessions here: royalparks.org.uk/mischools).
During the Easter holidays, we greeted over 700 people at our two roadshow dates - this Summer, our roadshow promises to be even bigger, with more dates, more bugs, and (hopefully) more sunshine! We will have activities such as bug hunts, storytelling, crafting bees using alder cones, and making paper wildflower pots to take home!
(These roadshow dates are a lot of fun and are all free – so do join us if you can. Dates and locations can be found here: royalparks.org.uk/mifamilyevents)
We will also be making an appearance at other events including Countryside Live, Great Exhibition Road Festival, and the Royal Society Science Summer Exhibition.
Volunteers can join us this autumn to collect valuable data on the dung beetle populations of Richmond Park so watch this space for more details: royalparks.org.uk/mivolunteering
Adult Learning Events
A brand new adult events programme including a solitary bee walk in Greenwich Park, invertebrate macrophotography in Richmond Park and invertebrate wildlife drawing in Hyde Park is being launched this year. To book, visit: royalparks.org.uk/miadultevents
There is so much that can be done for invertebrates and for nature as a whole - from creating habitats, volunteering for wildlife, or simply discovering and appreciating the wonderful world around us. What I love about invertebrates is that there are always new, fascinating things to learn when you take a closer look. As the Mission: Invertebrate team grows, we will strive to work with more groups, continue to help wildlife, and spread the word about how brilliant invertebrates really are!