skip to main content
We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use the website we assume that you are happy to receive these cookies.

London’s Royal Parks are no stranger to millions of mini beasts, but their newest resident is expected to turn some heads.

An eight-foot high snail will be sliding its way around eight iconic sites over the coming half term and summer holidays as part of The Royal Parks’ Mission: Invertebrate.

Thanks to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the project has been awarded £600,000 and aims to inspire people with the amazing story of nature’s unsung workforce. Mission: Invertebrate will also help park managers gain a better understanding of the invertebrates living in the 5,000 acres of London’s Royal Parks, which are habitat havens for more than 4,100 invertebrate species.

Starting on May 31, the giant snail with story-tellers on board, will tour all the Royal Parks from Greenwich in the east to Bushy in the west, giving children and families the opportunity to get close to nature and learn more about the miniature world of invertebrates.

As well as interactive story-telling, visitors will have the chance to get involved in a range of free creative activities focusing on some of the fascinating creatures found in the parks, from spiders, dragonflies and grasshoppers to worms, butterflies and moths. Look out for bug trails, creative crafting and invertebrate missions.

The giant snail tour will be found at the following locations (dates are inclusive):

Date

Royal Park

Location

31st May / 1 June

Hyde Park

The Royal Parks Foundation Education Centre

2 & 3rd June

Kensington Gardens

Diana Memorial Playground

22nd July

Richmond Park

Roehampton Gate

23rd July

Richmond Park

Sheen Gate

25 & 26th July

Richmond Park

Isabella Plantation (special educational needs and disabilities focus)

27th July

Greenwich Park

Pavilion Tea House

28th July

Greenwich Park

Pavilion Tea House

29th July

Greenwich Park

Children’s Playground& Boating Lake

1 & 2nd August

Richmond Park

Roehampton Gate

7th August

Bushy Park

The Pheasantry Welcome Centre

8th August

Bushy Park

Hampton Court Gate Playground

9 & 10th  August

Brompton Cemetery

The Great Circle

14th August

The Regent's Park

Gloucester Gate Playground

15th August

The Regent's Park

Hanover Gate Playground

16th August

Hyde Park

The Royal Parks Foundation Education Centre

17 & 18th August

Hyde Park

South Playground

29 & 30th August

St James's Park

Marlborough Gate

16th September

The Regent's Park

Allotment Gardens

24th September

Kensington Gardens

The Allotment

1st October

Greenwich Park

The Queen's Orchard

8th October

Hyde Park

Half Marathon Festival area

23 & 24th October

Brompton Cemetery

The Great Circle

25 & 26th October

Hyde Park

The Royal Parks Foundation Education Centre

There is also still a chance to get involved in two key citizen science projects happening later this year. Members of the public have the opportunity to become budding scientists and get involved with real life research focussed on studying the diets of rare hedgehogs in The Regent’s Park and ancient ant hills in Richmond Park. For more information and to sign up to become a budding researcher visit our Mission: Invertebrate pages or follow @morethanbugs on Twitter.

Dr Alice Laughton, Mission: Invertebrate Project Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be welcoming our newest resident during the summer as our giant snail goes on tour across all our parks, and we hope children and their families come out of their shell to learn more about invertebrates.

“The millions of creatures under our feet and in the air have fascinating stories to tell, and these will be colourfully brought to life throughout the school holidays at free events taking place across all our parks. Most will take place this summer, so what better way to get out into the fresh air than to see our giant snail in action.”

Alister Hayes, Head of Ecology, said: “Mission: Invertebrate is a really important project which helps highlight the vital role invertebrates play in our everyday lives, from ensuring our environment flourishes to keeping our food chain moving. The project also provides park managers and their teams with invaluable insight into how they can manage grasslands and meadows to improve their biodiversity.  As urban green spaces come under increasing pressure, parklands are becoming more valuable to wildlife than ever before.”

To find out more about Mission:Invertebrate visit our Mission: Invertebrate pages or follow the project on Twitter: @morethanbugs and Facebook: www.facebook.com/theroyalparkslondon.

search