Walk in the (snow)shoes of Antarctic explorers, past and present, during Exploration & Discovery Week this February 11-19 half term.
To celebrate the centenary of the Scott Antarctic expedition, WWT Arundel Wetland Centre is taking families back in time to become an explorer and make the perilous journey to the South Pole. The ‘Great Scott Trail’ through the wetland reserve leads families through a series of Antarctic adventures to see how they would fare on a Antarctic trek.
Complementing the trail is the ‘On Thin Ice exhibit’ inside the visitors centre that details the history of polar exploration. A ‘Base Camp: Past and Present’ exhibit will be open each afternoon in the Outlook In building from 2-4 pm each day. A tent and sled from the British Antarctic Survey is included in the display. “Children love the idea of explorers” says Claire Drew, Arundel Wetland Centre Learning manager, “The Scott expedition faced many hazards to collect research. Modern Antarctic scientists do the same in isolated and harsh conditions.” Part of the rich legacy of the Scott expedition includes Edward Wilson’s Antarctic Notebooks, a collection of the naturalist‘s sketches and paintings which was published last year.
Robert Falcon Scott was a naval officer and explorer who lead a team attempting to be the first to reach the South Pole in 1912. “Make the boy interested in natural history if you can” Scott wrote in one of his last letters - referring to his son, Peter. Sir Peter Scott went on to the found of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. Families begin the Great Scott Trail by creating their own flag before choosing what supplies they wish to take with them on their journey through the grounds. At the trails’ end they can plant their flag for a family photo opportunity.
Other half term activities include a geo-cache discovery trail that allows visitors to use the GPS (Global Positioning System) application on their mobile phones. The historical caches they find hidden around the reserve reveal the rich history of the area. Those without GPS can follow the letters and numbers on our map to locate the caches. Children's crafts will be held in the Swan Lake room daily from 1-3pm.
WWT’s 2011-2012 Photography Competition, currently in its Winter Heat, is also held in celebration of the Scott Antarctic Expedition Centenary, see www.wwt.org.uk/photo for details on how to enter.
WWT Arundel Wetland Centre is open every day from 9.30am to 4:30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A27, it is signposted from the town of Arundel. The Centre is also accessible by train from Arundel Rail station, a short walk from the town of Arundel. Visit the website to find out what’s on all year round at Arundel and the other eight WWT centres.
Published 13th February 2012
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