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Growing Curiosities: The Science of Gardens

Join us this summer for a family exhibition exploring the science of our gardens and the natural world.

Inspired by zoologist and children’s author Nicola Davies, and featuring original artwork by illustrators Emily Sutton and Mark Hearld, the exhibition will introduce budding biologists to DNA, biodiversity, composting and microbes.

This hands-on interactive exhibition of children’s book illustrations is sure to delight visitors of all ages and is supported by a programme of events that will enchant and inspire children and adults alike.


Free entry

With thanks to Walker Books, Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton 

Taking inspiration from the book GROW: Secrets of Our DNA visitors will explore the concept of DNA – the genetic information that’s inside the cells of living things and makes plants and animals unique . The display will be accompanied by hands on activities to help children understand about DNA coiled into structures called chromosomes.

LOTS: The Diversity of Life on Earth will lead children into the fascinating world around us of plants and animals. We will explore how many living things are similar but how small differences within species help to provide a huge range of different plants and animals and unique habitats. We will explore the risks that the natural world is facing and the damaging consequences these have.

In TINY:The Invisible World of Microbes children will learn about the important role microbes play in the world around us, converting waste into soil so that new life can grow. Making new plants and helping us grow things in our gardens that make our air good to breath and support habitats for plants and animals and helping us grow.

Nicola Davies’ poems in A First Book of Nature evoke a child’s first experience of the natural world. Working together with illustrator Mark Hearld who mixes paper cut collage, watercolour and ink to bring these poems to life the display will introduce us to living things that are on our doorstep waiting to be discovered.

Guests will also find drop-in activities set up in the nave on our activities table, including DNA bracelet making, oil pastels and collaging inspired by the works of Nicola Davies.

Illustrations by Emily Sutton, images courtesy of Walker Books