Birds, eggs & a big boost!

Wow! What a week! We’ve recruited a whole new team of volunteers, we’ve been  prepping to pack up our Birds of Paradise display and our large egg collection has been boxed-up for storage.  The big news this week is, we’ve been awarded a £1.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards our ambitious redevelopment plans. We are absolutely thrilled and, of course, hugely grateful to the HLF. We still need to raise a further £3 million to complete our revamp, however, so our public appeal is ongoing!

Here’s a little look at the behind-the-scenes activity this week:

l-r: time-lapse camera in position to film packing-up Birds of Paradise display; Natalie's 'bird stick', our Shoebill, waiting patiently.

l-r: time-lapse camera in position to film packing-up Birds of Paradise display; Natalie’s ‘bird stick’, our Shoebill, waiting patiently.

Another big job this week has been to pack-up our extensive egg collection. Russel and Stuart have been busy in the bird store marking this lot up:

eggs The bird store is an amazing place, not much room to manoeuvre and the hefty whiff of mothballs can make your eyes water, but you soon acclimatise and forget about it once you start looking around. Some of the old Victorian display cases are as beautiful and impressive as the specimens they house. Unfortunately, a lot of these cabinets are past their best, and the preservation of their contents is a priority. This is why the fundraising is so vital – we need new stores to keep  our collections in the best condition possible for future generations to enjoy. We will be retaining and continuing to use the best cases,  as we feel it is important to preserve the soul of the museum, so visitors can see how collections have been presented and viewed through the ages.

The bird store.

The bird store.

We are very excited to be getting a glimpse of our new storage areas next week. Pictures of a carvernous, rubble-strewn space coming soon!



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