Urchins to umbrella trees
Bolton Museum is currently redeveloping its “Wildlife on your Doorstep” and “Welcome to your World” natural history galleries.
NMDC UK enews, From urchins to umbrella trees: advocating for natural history collections, April 2016
32 natural history museums in the north-west of England are highlighting their 2015 advocacy document ‘7 million wonders: how Natural History Museums help people and nature flourish in the north-west’ to a wider audience. Collectively, they attract 2 million visitors a year and the 10 most popular visitor attractions in the region are Natural History Museums. The document argues that there are proven health benefits to contact with nature, but social deprivation is correlated with losing access to green space. The museums are well placed to put people back in contact with the natural world, whether they are urban populations who struggle to get beyond the city, or tourists and locals in more rural areas where the museums form a bridge back to the outdoors. The north-west has a unique offer which the museums reflect in their collections and tap into: rare breeds flourish, including red squirrels in Cumbria and peregrine falcons in some towns and cities. There are also economic reasons for using natural history museums to encourage people to reconnect with nature: in 2013-14 2.93bn visits were made to the countryside, half of which were for health. These generated £17bn of expenditure. Naturally Curious