New exhibition lets kids play garden detectives

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Garden Detectives ExhibitionBy Oliver Farrimond

SCOTS families will be given the chance to don their detective’s hats and explore the natural world at a new summer exhibition.

Inspired by the methods of legendary scientist Charles Darwin, visitors to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh will be able to track animals, peep inside hedges and even transform into insects.

The hands-on, interactive displays are designed to encourage kids to explore their own back gardens using their senses of taste, smell and touch.

The exhibition, entitled “Garden Detectives” opens today (Friday) at the National Museum, running until the end of September.

Dr Graham Rotheray, exhibition curator at the National Museums Scotland, said: “Our exhibition uses a mix of real specimens, interactive exhibits and displays to show young visitors how to see and investigate the rich diversity of wildlife in their own gardens.

“We hope they will gain a new level of understanding of nature and be inspired, like Darwin, to discover even more about the natural world.”

Curious kids will also be able to explore a wormery and insect collection inside a replica garden shed, and use their Darwin-style detection skills to track animal footprints on the 220th anniversary of the botanist’s birth.

The event will be officially opened by Minister for the Environment Roseanna Cunningham, who said that natural exhibitions were vital for keeping young people interested in the environment.

She said: “I am extremely proud that ecology and the environment are increasingly at the heart of our policies here in Scotland and I thank the National Museum for supporting these aims through Garden Detectives.

“I sincerely hope this exhibition inspires our children to make sure it remains that way.”

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