Leap Day Talks

To coincide with Leap Day (February 29th) 2012, Manchester Museum is participating in an international event being organised by the Amphibian Ark – Leaping Ahead of Extinction: A celebration of good news for amphibians in 2012.

As part of our activities planned, and in conjunction with our Museum Meets Programme, we have a series of amphibian conservation related talks specially organised for Leap day. These are  amphibian talks aimed at Ages 15+ and are offered free of charge. However, there are limited places available, and these need to be booked in advance to avoid disappointment:

Leap Day talks at The Manchester Museum, and to book a place to attend these.

A super poster has also been created to promote Leap Day, with amphibian art being generously donated by a group of artists. Download the poster for your wall HERE.

Leap Frog 2012     Amphibian Ark      Museum Meets     Personal Presentations

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In Memory

It was with great sadness that today I learned Nick Standen, a old friend of mine, had passed away. Nick was a herpetologist with more than 40 years’ experience of reptiles and amphibians, which he had been studying and captive  breeding for over 30 years. He had an extreme passion for the scientific study of his animals and was meticulous in recording all aspects of their behaviour and reproduction.

Nick had a degree in Zoology from Southampton University and spent his formative herpetological years in Newbury, Berkshire. He had travelled extensively to see reptiles in the wild, including going to places such as Australia, South America, Mexico, and Indonesia. More recently he spent time travelling throughout Europe including Spain, Greece, Portugal and also Morocco, to study, film and photograph wildlife.

He was an expert on Spanish reptiles and amphibians, and had written articles and helped out with species identification for the local community after moving to  Benamargosa, near Velez-Malaga.  Here, Nick had dedicated his land as a wildlife oasis to help preserve local European reptiles.  Nick’s Reptiles.

Nick will be missed by all who knew him for his quiet but unassuming manner, his sense of humour, and also his unbounded knowledge and enthusiasm for animals and plants.

Shore Green

With it being Half-term holidays, this week’s been extremely busy in The Museum and the Vivarium’s been absolutely packed full of families with children. Many of our engagement activities are for kids and we have a fantastic programme of events for them. Apart from supporting learning for children one of the many things we are working hard to develop is support for adult learning and also opportunities to involve and support older people from across the city.

Last week we had a visit from some residents of Shore Green, a specialist service that provides accommodation, support and care to older people with memory loss to enable them to live independent lives for as long as possible. One of my colleagues, Andrea Winn, has been developing our relationship with Shore Green and has been working with them since May 2011. This was initiated through the valuing older people network, a city wide initiative that connects older residents in the city with cultural venues.

Andrea has visited the group in their centre on several occasions, taking different objects from the museums collections out to the group.  These have ranged from objects relating to Manchester’s history, China, allotments, and more recently with me and some of the live animal collection. This essential groundwork has been key to developing the relationship with Shore Green, and led to the their first visit to us. It was such a pleasure to welcome the residents and also Sally and Sophie (pictured), who helped organise and manage the visit last week.

A Friday Afternoon Trip      Engagement      Shore Green     Valuing Older People

+Culture Shots

I’d like to say a big thanks to all the Salford University students who gave their talk today, well done guys, it was great! The next talk in the series is all about volunteer opportunities in the Ecuadorian rainforest – so if you’re interested in this be sure to keep an eye on the blog for more details coming soon.

One blog I have been keeping an eye on myself this week has been one that’s focused on ‘Culture Shots; Museum & Galleries Week’,     a superb initiative that’s involved a wide variety of Museum and Gallery events taking place within 5 hospitals in Manchester. The week-long packed programme for health professionals and patients has been aimed at improving peoples health and well-being.

Well, when I was over at the Children’s Hospital yesterday I certainly saw lots of smiles – which have got to be good for your health! It was a real pleasure to support the initiative and to let the staff and the kids experience some of our animals first-hand. I hope everyone who attended enjoyed it as much as I did being there.

The whole initiative appears to be a huge success – many congratulations to all involved and those who have worked so hard in putting it together!      Read more   

Wendy Gallagher                        Modern Designers                        University Hospitals

Next Talk Details..

The next presentation in the new animal-based talk series will be given by a group of Salford University wildlife students and hosted in Manchester Museum on Thursday 9th February at 1pm. The students will be sharing their exciting first-hand experiences of a special time spent in Costa Rica last summer, and this will provide a fascinating insight into the flora and fauna they came across whilst working at a unique biological research station in the tropical rainforest on the Pacific Coast.

Everyone is welcome to attend the talk, which will be held in the Kanaris Theatre at The Manchester Museum between 1 – 2 pm.  If you are a Salford or Manchester University staff member or student you might want to let your friends and colleagues know about this event and arrive early to avoid disappointment. If you are not associated with either University you are also extremely welcome to attend, there is no charge whatsoever to the public.

‘Sloth’ Talk in the Series    ‘Frog’ Talk in the series    University of Salford    Costa Rica

Many Thanks to our Vivarium Volunteer Xaali for producing the fab poster above!

YOU CAN NOW WATCH THE PREVIOUS TALK HERE!