London’s Royal Parks are no stranger to millions of minibeasts, but our newest resident is expected to turn some heads. An eight-foot high snail will be sliding its way around the iconic sites over the coming 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.
Invertebrates include beasties like bees, butterflies, spiders and worms, all of which we’d struggle to survive without. They provide us with vital services, from pollinating plants to breaking down our waste and providing food for other animals. 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 precious habitat havens for more than 4,100 invertebrate species in the heart of our capital city.
Starting on July 22, our Giant Snail will tour the Royal Parks from Greenwich Park in the east to Bushy Park in the west, giving children and families the opportunity to get close to nature and learn more about the wonderful world of invertebrates.
The free family days will feature a range of creative activities focusing on some of the fascinating creatures that call the Royal Parks home. Look out for interactive story-telling, bug trails, creative crafting and invertebrate missions galore!
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 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 our parks. Most will take place this summer, so what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than to come and 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.”
Join us to discover the Royal Park’s magnificent minibeasts this summer. For more information about our Giant Snail Tour please visit the website via link above.