Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Here comes the sun

We're back from a truly amazing weekend at Wychwood Festival, where we wowed around 1000 festival-goers with the weird and wonderful world of ecology. The Wychwood team was: Alexe, Emma, Frazer, Hannah, Helen, Sarah D. and Will - we had the whole shebang including the infamous #poogame, a live bumblebee hive (thanks to BioBest), a honeybee hive, bughunting, swabbing and mushroom sniffing!

The S&B&R&R stall at Wychwood Festival

First off, we'd like to thank Graeme, Jem and Stefan for organising such a great festival and making it all possible - we couldn't have got off to a better start! And, of course, a big thank you to the many enthusiastic visitors to our stall.

We have loads of photos from our three days on Cheltenham Racecourse, so keep checking our photostream over the next few days as we upload more. There's an album of general festival photos and a separate set of swabbing piks. Photos of the microbial cultures from people's festival kit will be appearing shortly!
There's also a lot to blog about, so we're going to do it in instalments... 

Beginnings (Wychwood Part I)

Team meeting with wellies
We set off on Thursday to overcast skies and arrived on a very soggy Cheltenham Racecourse in the mid-afternoon. It didn't take long to find our pitch and set-up the stall opposite the circus tent in the workshop area. In fact, it took longer to get our campsite established because it kept raining. 
Once we were all sorted, we trundled off to the Royal Oak in Prestbury for a team meeting and an excellent dinner.

Alexe explains the honeybee hive
We woke up to bright sunshine on Friday morning; we ran through all the activities before taking a stroll around the rest of the site to see what else was on and collect a few plants and insects to put on display. We also needed a bit of time to get used to the idea that - after many months of discussion and preparation - this was really happening! It's really something to see a crazy idea you cooked up over a few pints in the pub become reality. 

Frazer with the #poogame
The festival proper kicked off at midday on Friday and we were really busy until we closed up shop around 6pm - we had over 300 visitors on our first afternoon. 
We ended the working day with a group evaluation of the activities back at the campsite before we headed off to see Toploader and Soul II Soul. Some of the team then continued to celebrate the successful start at the headphone disco - but no-one was the worse for wear and we started the first shift bright and early on Saturday morning... (...coming soon!).

How many microbes are on my hands?

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