Outside the Cocoon

While renovation work is carried out inside, a lot has been happening ‘outside the cocoon’ over the last 6 months. Although we have been closed for nearly 2 years, we have continued our work engaging with the public every week via our education and outreach programme, visiting schools,  events like the Science Festival and special projects such as Ocean Song: Sounds of the Sea. Our Young Zoologists Club is still going strong with over 2000 members and growing.

Outreach projects are ongoing while the Museum is closed.

Outreach projects are ongoing while the Museum is closed.

In the lab, our collections are being carefully cleaned and conserved after many years either in storage or on display, and our new state-of-the-art stores are nearing completion.

The biggest news of late is all about the building. The wrapping and scaffolding came off in February, giving us the first glimpse of our striking Brutalist facade in nearly 18 months. We are also thrilled that it has been re-named The David Attenborough Building,  in honour of our favourite naturalist and presenter.  The building name-change was officially announced and celebrated on 21st April with a special visit from Sir David Attenborough himself.

Sir David Attenborough meets staff, volunteers and a Scaly foot gastropod.

Sir David Attenborough meets staff, volunteers and a Scaly foot gastropod. Photos: CCI, UMZC.

We are almost two thirds of the way through our HLF funded redevelopment and we have reached an exciting stage in the project. A new, glass Whale Hall – an extension to The David Attenborough Building – is currently under construction. This will serve as a stunning new entrance to our Museum, with our iconic 70ft long Fin whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling, providing a spectacular greeting for all visitors.

The new Whale Hall under construction and how it will look on completion.

The new Whale Hall under construction and how it will look on completion. Pics: UMZC

As well as our Fin whale we have many other large skeletons also in dire need of conservation and remounting, such as the Giant Sloth, the Polar bear, the Giraffe and the Hippopotamus (to name but a few). We are fundraising to put these extraordinary specimens back on display in a manner they deserve so the public may marvel at and enjoy them at their glorious best.

We are asking the public and corporate sponsors alike to support us by making either a general donation or by sponsoring an individual specimen or bone. If you would like to, you can contribute here: http://www.campaign.cam.ac.uk/giving/zoology

You can keep up to date with our progress by following this blog, following us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZoologyMuseumCambridge and by following us on Twitter: @ZoologyMuseum