Fresh from charming earthworms at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes this weekend, members of the Earthworm Watch team will be delivering earthworm activities for families at the historic Oxford University Botanic Gardens and Harcourt Arboretum. This will involve some demonstrations of the Earthworm Watch survey for family visitors and the chance to take part in craft activities, explore the autumn wildlife and catch a glimpse of mini-beasts found in soil and leaf litter.

The Oxford Botanic Gardens is the oldest botanic garden in Britain, founded in 1621 first as a Physic Garden to study plants scientifically for medicinal purposes. The garden contains beds that are still home to a modern medicinal plant collection as well as beautiful plant borders and orchards. Probably the most alluring thing about the gardens though is the number of beautiful glasshouses. These include amongst others, a Fernery, an Alpine House, an Insectivorous Plant House and a Tropical Lily House.

The Botanic Gardens are also famous as being the place for the end scene with Lyra and Will in Phillip Pullman’s amazing His Dark Materials Trilogy. In the last of the series ‘The Amber Spyglass’, Pullman describes how Lyra guides Will to a bench that you can actually find yourself at the same garden in his world. They both promise to sit on the bench for an hour at noon on Midsummer's day every year so that perhaps they may feel each other's presence next to one another in their own worlds.


Further details of the events are shown below and although admission fees apply, children go FREE with a paying family member. 

Tuesday 25th October 2016 - 1-4pm

Earthworm Watch at Oxford University Harcourt Arboretum

Wednesday 26th October 2016 - 11.00 – 1.00pm

Earthworm Watch at the Oxford University Botanic Gardens