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Insect Festival 2015

A conservative estimate of 1700 people visited the fourth biennial Insect Festival at York on Sunday 5th July 2015. Therefore 2015 was the most successful Insect Festival yet and the audience for this family event continues to grow.

This year there were more live exhibits and interactive activities than ever. There was a continuous stream of visiting children (and adults) between 10am and 4pm, all wishing to carefully handle invertebrates, build insect models, learn about insect conservation projects and research. Thirty-four exhibits were on offer in the historic Hospitium and outside in the marquees. Several popular exhibitors from previous years returning, such as the Yorkshire Naturalist’s Union and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with a good representation of research organisations, including Fera, Stockbridge Technology Centre and the Pirbright Institute.

The ‘minibeast hunts’ were popular with younger visitors and their parents. Participants signed up in advance for an insect hunt around the York Museum Gardens under the experienced guidance of Dr Roger Key and Dr Rosie Key assisted by several enthusiastic student helpers.

The NIW display of winning photographs from the 2014 competition had its own tent, allowing visitors to browse the stunning collection. The winning drawings from the Insect Festival Art Competition for Schools were also on display (plus the folders of all the 850+ entries).

There was a prize giving for the winners to receive their insect themed prizes. The school of the overall winner also received £250.


4-5 YEARS OLD - 1st Mia Chan, Birstwirth C of E Primary School; 2nd Eden Siddle, Headlands Primary School; 3rd Benny McNeill, St Martin’s Ampleforth.
6-7 YEARS OLD - 1st Henry Johnson, St George’s RC Primary School; 2nd Sibylla Burrows, St Martin’s Ampleforth; 3rd Henry Sharp, Roecliffe C of E Primary School.
8-9 YEARS OLD - 1st Jack Broad, Burnt Yates Primary School; 2nd Kiera Clements-Byrne, St Martin’s Ampleforth; 3rd Raj Sharma, Cookridge Primary School.
10-11 YEARS OLD - 1st Charlotte Owen, St Martin’s Ampleforth; 2nd Isabel Moore, Dobscroft Junior School; 3rd Craig Njiri, Three Lane Ends Academy.
OVERALL WINNER - Florence Tidmarsh, St Martin’s Ampleforth.

There were new exhibits by Alan Shaw (Itzbugginiz) displaying extraordinary 3D S.E.M. images and Alberto Congosto-Nuñez (Insect Creator) displaying insect facsimiles made from natural materials. Three children’s authors participated in the day with Anneliese Emmans Dean, Mike Barfield and Sonia Copeland Bloom on-hand to sign copies of their books and talk to the children about their work and the insects that they write about. The exhibits were diverse, interesting and interactive which attracted a wide range of people of all ages.