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Bute Park Science Trail

25 August 2015

Science trail posters on a table

This summer Sustainable Places Research Associate Dr Ria Dunkley has been joined by CUROP student (Cardiff University Research Opportunities Placement) Claire Astin to develop a citizen science project in Bute Park in Cardiff City Centre. 

One of Ria's key research areas is place-based Education for Sustainable Development. The role of the student here on placement has been to create a project that encourages connections to nature within Cathays Park and the surrounding area using citizen-science methodology. 

Claire Astin, a first year Bioscience student, started her placement in Sustainable Places in July and was keen to develop a project which incorporates her love for scientific engagement with younger children. Claire has created the Bute Park Science Trail to work alongside a number of already established trails in Bute Park in Cardiff City Centre. The science trail will encourage children and families to wander around Bute Park to try and find the small animals and insects noted in the guide, while learning about science and nature. 

The science trail is led by the cartoon of Seren the Scientist. Seren’s trail comprises of five stop off markers around Bute park where trail-ers can stop for 3 minute intervals and note down whether they spot any of Seren's selected species (ie: Grey squirrel. Garden bumble bee, common blue damselfly, harlequin ladybirds and small white butterflies). 

The project launched on Sunday 23rd August at the “Out of the woods” festival in Sophia Gardens and is running until Sunday 20th September. The Science Trail leaflet can be printed off their website or can be picked up in the Bute Park Education Centre, Pettigrew tea rooms and the Tape installation in Bute Park. The results will be used to see how popular the species are within Bute park.

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