Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Be my valentine...

...well not quite. But the deadline for our competition is only a day earlier! 

You can join the team and help us promote 100 years of British Ecology by submitting your idea(s) to our competition by the 13th February

We already have a list of FAQs (Festival Activity Queries), so below are a few - with answers:

Q: Can we submit as a group?
A: Yes, you can! Just bear in mind that there will be limited spaces at each festival, so you may have to work out who goes where...

Q: Can I submit several ideas?
A: Yes, you can! Please submit them as separate entries unless they really have to be done together.

Q: Can I design a main / core activity?
A: Yes, you can! We're flexible and we really want to include new team members who are enthusiastic about engaging the public with Ecology!

Q: Do I have to go to all festivals?
A: No, you don't! We don't expect anyone to have that much spare time! There will be at least 2 experienced members on each team, but the rest will depend on people's availability (and preference)

Q: Will I be at the stall all day, or can I go enjoy some of the music?
A: We'll be working in shifts. All team members will be expected to devote themselves completely to the activities for about 4 hours a day (and help with setting up etc.). So there will be plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the festival. 

Q: What sort of activities you're looking for?
A:  We'll take anything we think will engage festival-goers with ecology and get them interested in what we're doing. This includes activities for kids, science-busking, demonstrations, and core activities.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Which wood? Wychwood!

We're very pleased to announce that the 'BES roadshow' will kick off on the 31st May at Wychwood Festival
The festival, held at Cheltenham racecourse, has been nominated 'Best Family Festival' eight years running (UK Festival Awards). The team are looking forward to promoting Sex and Bugs and Rock' n Roll to young and old within the popular workshop area.

The first acts have now been announced and include the excellent Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, the swinging Caravan Palace, and the 'barking mad but utterly brilliant' John Otway, as well as The Beat, Sam Lee, Moulettes, Eddie & The Hotrods and Public Service Broadcasting. 
Headliners for Friday and Sunday have yet to be revealed but if (like Will) you're nostalgic for the 80's, you can 'safety dance' Saturday night away to The Human League...

Keep an eye open for further announcements about our activities at Wychwood - we'll soon be appearing on the festival website!

Monday, 14 January 2013

One down three to go...

As we wait on tenterhooks to hear whether we are going to Glastonbury, we're keeping busy preparing stall applications to End of the Road, Green Man and Wychwood, where we can hopefully get people excited about Ecology and catch the likes of Sigur Ros, Van Morrison and Mogwai...

If you want to join in, there's still a whole month to come up with a good entry to our competition.
And, during the New Year's lull, please take a moment to download our poster and spread the word!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Dung Beetle Knockout, Jellyfish Disco & Festival I-Spy

Happy New Year!
2013 is going to be a really exciting year - it's the BES Centenary, the Festival of Ecology and the year we take the BES on the road to music festivals.
Just before Christmas, the roadies were at the BES Annual Meeting in Birmingham. The entire meeting was great (as always) but the standout event for us was our workshop on 'Creative Public Engagement'.
45 participants spent an hour of their lunch break thinking about how to engage people in ecology and brainstorming fun activities for the BES stall at festivals this summer. Helen lead the workshop with Ruth Murray from AtBristol (with token help from the other roadies) and we all brought a few random props to act as catalysts for ideas.
After a brief intro, Helen got everyone thinking hard about the most important aspect of successful public engagement: the audience.

Participants worked in groups to characterise their audience and think about how to get their attention; then everyone started brainstorming ideas for activities to engage festival-goers with ecology.
The workshop was short but the time pressure seemed to get everyone's neurons working overtime - we had some really fantastic ideas, including dung beetle gladiators, a festival I-Spy, a luminous jellyfish disco, a fossil-hunt and a whole load of interactive, hands-on displays on e.g. food-webs, pollinators, soil fauna, and photosynthesis.
We've captured the essence of the workshop in a short video clip. So if you missed it: here's the whole thing in 2 minutes flat