Wild Hares and Hummingbirds

VISITORS to the Museum of Somerset at Taunton can discover more about the county’s animals, plants and birds in a playful exhibition opening on Saturday 20th July and running to 26th October.

The exhibition is based on the book Wild Hares and Hummingbirds: The Natural History of an English Village, by the naturalist Stephen Moss, one of Britain’s leading natural history writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers.

His book tells the story of wildlife through the seasons in his home village of Mark, on the edge of the Somerset Levels. The exhibition brings together his celebrated nature writing with beautiful, original illustration by the graphic artist Stephanie Cole, who is probably best known in the West Country for her striking illustrations that decorate the interiors at Gloucester Services.

Sam Astill, head of museums for the South West Heritage Trust, says: “We’re delighted to be bringing together the creative talents of Stephen and Stephanie for this original exhibition. It’s packed full of fun, interactive, hands-on activities for families to enjoy during the school holiday.”

Stephen says: “The book is a celebration of the British countryside and why it matters to all of us, wherever we live. It’s exciting to see it given a new lease of life and I hope the exhibition will help inspire young visitors to connect with the natural world.”

Throughout the summer holidays the museum will be running Wildlife Wednesdays with weekly themed activities for families. From 27th July to 7th September there is also a display of artworks by the printmaker Jackie Curtis celebrating the landscapes and wildlife of the Somerset Levels.

Oh – and in case you were wondering about hummingbirds in Somerset, they’re a species of hawk-moth!

The Museum of Somerset is part of The South West Heritage Trust, an independent charity that protects and celebrates the heritage of Somerset and Devon.

Visit www.museumofsomerset.org.uk for more information.