14 May 2019
Heaton Park will be a hive of activity on Saturday, June 29, when the Manchester Festival of Nature (#MFoN) creates a massive buzz.
Part of #MFoN will be the creation of a new World Record for the most people dressed as bees anywhere on the planet. There will be big bees, small bees, bee families, bees from businesses, pub bees, community bees and people just wearing black and yellow jumpers, from all corners of Manchester. They can arrive at Heaton Park on the bee tram, which will be running along that route of the Metrolink that day. And anyone can join the swarm, knowing that they will be highlighting the plight of our wonderful pollinating insects, which are having hard times as the climate changes.
#MFoN committee member Alan Wright said: “Bees and other insects are part of the circle of life, pollinating plants, getting rid of smaller insects and providing food for larger creatures. “While dressing up as a bee is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon, it also carries that message that we need to stop their decline right now. The situation is critical and we need to act before other species become extinct.”
#MFoN will be an opportunity for people to get involved in a number of interesting activities but, at the same time, learn about the environment and how the top conservation bodies are working to help wildlife on their doorsteps. The biggest groups in nature conservation have already pledged to be at #MFoN - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire Manchester and North Merseyside, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, The RSPB, The National Trust, City of Trees, The Conservation Volunteers, The Royal Horticultural Society, The Canal and River Trust, Action for Conservation, Moors for the Future, Chester Zoo, Manchester Museum, Manchester Metropolitan University and Sustrans along with Manchester City Council and its Heaton Park team.
Community and volunteering groups are expected to attend too, offering an insight into the amazing work they do. Every stall will have activities for visitors and there will be plenty to do for both young and old. Activities planned so far include performances bringing to life the enchanting book The Lost Words, by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. There will also be a visit by the Bogtastic Van giving people a real feeling of what life is like on the moors.
There will be bushcraft, forest school skills, natural crafts, ecotherapy, wild flower planting, building a bug hotel, woodland walks, tree and plant identifications, den building and a chance to enter a bog.
Alan, who is Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Communications Manager, said: “Organisations in conservation are putting a lot of resources and love into telling the people of Manchester just how lucky they are to have such wonderful wildlife on their doorsteps. This will be a huge opportunity to showcase just how important wildlife is in the city. The event will have a bee-theme and it will be a hive of activity with families getting involved in all sorts of activities from guided walks to bushcraft to mindfulness.”
All activities on the day will be free and #MFoN is a not-for-profit event.
A Crowdfunder page has been set up to support the festival. Alan said: “The more donations we get the better it will be and the bigger chance we have of making this a regular part of the Manchester calendar.” www.crowdfunder.co.uk/manchester-festival-of-nature-mfon. You can also join in the conversation on social media by following #MFoN. For more details go to www.lancswt.org.uk/events/manchester-festival-of-nature.