Friday, 31 May 2013

The Big Bird, Beast, Bug and Botany Hunt

The Big Bird, Beast, Bug and Botany Hunt

preparing for last year's event
When: Sunday June 9th, 11.00 - 16.00
Where: Dove Valley Centre

Under Whitle Farm
(between Sheen and Longnor)
SK17 0PR

Ancient Landscapes among the Birds, Beasts, Bugs and Boatnicals? We'll be there, with fossils to look at and draw, models to handle, people to talk to, a wall to stare at (just in case we can find anything!) and our usual exciting, messy, colourful and engaging creative activities

We'll be making fingertip coral, adding small animals to one of our smaller landscapes and hopefully working on a 2 metre tall stand of prehistoric kelp! Visitors will also be welcome to make their own ancient rockpool to take home!
Gordon the Toad (one of our familiar Ancient Artists will be at the event as well - helping mess people up with fingertip corals but also telling stories of the animals and plants that we might (or hopefully might not) find in the Valley around us!

The main event
From the Dove Valley Centre press release
This is a free event for the family that supports Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Do you like counting wild creatures and flowers and maybe learning more about them?

If so, come along to the annual biodiversity day at the Dove Valley Centre on naturalists will lead activities around the farm: these will include pond and river dipping, wildflower and bird walks, sweeping for bugs, art activities and story-telling and more…You will be able to get really close to moths that were caught the previous night. There will be information too on barn owls that have bred on the farm.

the Centre is a lovely place for explorations!

Plants can also be swapped, so bring along any spares.

Refreshments will be available throughout the day, but if you’re staying for some time you may need a picnic – and wellies!

Tel. Paul/ Elspeth on 01298 83282 or email:

We splashed around....

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Tuesday 28th May....
images from the event

We have also featured in the Buxton Advertiser - follow the link: Feature

resources and results: models, fossils and rockpools

it was good to see children playing with our main installation

careful adjustments are often necessary
a beautifully observed coelacanth
proud rummagers in ancient rockpools!
Next event:
Sunday June 9th, the Big Bird, Beast, Bug and Botany Hunt at the Dove Valley Centre

Monday, 20 May 2013

Paddling in an ancient sea!

Life in ancient seas

trilobite tickling is a rare and delicate art

Come and join us as we imagine paddling in an ancient sea and rockpooling in a time before the dinosaurs!

Date: Tuesday 28th May 2013
Venue: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Terrace Road, Buxton, SK17 6DA
Times: 10.30 - 12.30 and 1.30 - 3.30
Booking: no booking needed just drop by and join in
Cost: free: materials provided (donations welcomed)
Organisers and more information: our artist today is Gordon MacLellan from Creeping Toad (

What's happening?
Explore life in the Carboniferous Seas of 300 million years ago that eventually gave us the limestone, shale and gritstones of the Peak District. We'll look at fossils to understand the animals of the times, draw those animals and the corals and seaweeds they lived in. Then visitors can make their own model rockpool as a piece of ancient seaside to take home and maybe their own fingertip corals to our growing Ancient Landscape

Monday, 6 May 2013

The tide comes in again!

The tide is running!
fingertip corals growing
There are a busy few days ahead for some Carboniferous rockpools…

a) Green Man Gallery: our main Ancient Landscape will be rippling in the window of the Green Man Gallery in Buxton between 11th and 19th May. Why not pop into the Gallery and stroke a shellfish or squeeze a cuddly seaweed? Green Man Gallery, 55 High St, Buxton, SK17 6HB. Open daily, 11.30 - 5.30. (At the Fiveways crossroads opposite the London Road pub)

On Sunday 19th you can join our artists and add your own ancient wildlife to the landscape - or make your own pet trilobite to take home!

Sunday 19th May
Morning: a quiet event, between 11.30 - 1, drop in and try your hand at crocheting a quick something or other, or knit a ribbon of seaweed, of needle-felt a snail. We'll bring wools, felting needles and crochet hooks but please bring your own knitting needles

Afternoon: 2 - 4pm. Life in Ancient Seas: make your own trilobite! Handling and drawing fossils, making fossil puppets and bringing an ancient world to life! Free. No booking needed: just drop by and join in!

b) Hartington Village

the Village Trail invites us to look for fossils
as well as getting to know the history and geography of the village

As part of the events to launch the Village Trail, our more mobile Ancient Landscape will be on show for visitors to dip their fingers into the wooly tentacles of ancient sea anemones and risk a nibbling by trilobites

There will be a chance to add their own fingertip corals or other creatures to the growing reef and to make their own Prehistoric Rockpool to take home

1- 5pm at Hartington Village Hall, Hide Lane, Hartington,   
, SK17 0AW
There are lots of activities in the Hall and the village that afternoon:
This link will tell you more about the event and give you a copy of the trial to download

Be careful if searching for the Village Hall as it is easy to be sent north of Longnor. Look for Hartington village on the B5054 off the A515 just north of Newhaven in Derbyshire

A pause in a rockpool

WORKSHOP MOMENTS - from sessions at Hartington Primary School and with Borderland Voices writing group at 
the Dove Valley Centre
we enjoyed, simply drawing our fossils and the animal models

Hartington: a busily creative tabletop!
Hartington: no injuries, just the first stage fingertip - or thumbtop?- coral
Thumb-coral growing
a somewhat psychedelic nautiloid