Budding Bromley biologists had the chance to explore the local ecosystem when The Glades Shopping Centre launched its very first free ‘natural history museum’ complete with its own laboratory.
Wild Glades was a week-long exploration of nature created to inform and inspire the community to learn about local biodiversity and the importance of preserving what’s around us.
Visitors to the event were invited to a laboratory, which was fully kitted out with microscopes, spot lamps, a HDTV screen projector and laptops. There was a mixture of wildlife specimens to study, including crabs, voles and fish, as well as small bones and fossils, much of which can be found in the back garden or surrounding areas.
The centre also used the opportunity to provide more information on its big plans for its roof garden – a space which the team has been cultivating with the help of environmental consultancies, Arc and Artecology in order to create The Glades’ own biodiversity system.
Mark Haynes, Director of The Glades, said: “The Glades is committed to creating a better environment for future generations and this event, as well as our own garden, has been the perfect way in which to do it.
“Wild Glades gave the local community the opportunity to get up close to many of the natural inhabitants that exist locally, that they wouldn’t otherwise ever have the chance to see.
“By educating and driving awareness of how important all living creatures are in the makeup of our own existence will hopefully allow for a better understanding and appreciation of what we need to do to preserve that.
“Most importantly, it was a family event that encouraged everyone to learn together as well as have fun while doing it.”
Ian Boyd, Director and lead ecologist at Arc and Artecology, added: “Wild Glades was a great opportunity to celebrate the fascinating world of local biodiversity with the thousands of people who love to visit the centre.
“Over the next six months we’ll also be working with The Glades team to create new areas for wildlife, demonstrating just how much can be done, even in a built environment, to help the natural world.”
There was also an arts section where younger members of the family took part in drawing all the exciting things they saw and learned at Wild Glades.