With the summer holidays now well under way we have managed to have our first outing, a trip to the Zoological Museum at Tring (Hertfordshire). Also known as the natural history museum at Tring; or Tring Museum. And while we were there we popped over to the wonderful, and stunning, chalk grassland that makes up Tring Park. An area I had not even heard of before our visit, but one will now attempt to revisit.
Tring Museum and Tring Park
It is a beautiful grassy area full of life (loads of butterflies and grasshoppers) on what I believe is chalk downs. Anyway here are our thoughts on the two places.
For those who don’t know Tring Museum (or The Natural History Museum at Tring or Tring Zoological Museum depending on the name at the time!) is an arm of the natural history museum originally set up be Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild it is home to an interesting collection of animals and birds (it actually holds the ornithology wing which is home to over 1000000 (1 million) skins, skeletons, eggs, nests etc.), and is a great FREE day out for all the family.
A quick tip here, some worksheets can be downloaded/printed from the website, and there are clip boards and pencils available for use just inside the main entrance.
I love Tring museum, little known pointless fact, my step mother worked here for a while! And my daughter also loved it, she not only enjoyed the walk around looking at the exhibits obviously on display but also opening the cases that house insects of various sorts and the draws full of eggs and more insects (it is an exciting thing not knowing quite what you will see.
She also enjoyed the work sheets we had printed off (there are 4 sets) each set has a list of things to find/do in each of the galleries open to the public. Me I enjoyed the bird collections, especially the humming bird section, not something I get to see in the UK.
|Bo completing one of her worksheets|
My/our only bug bear was the lack of anything of substance in the Zebra Cafe! There were a couple of sandwiches and the odd cake but not much else on offer (we ended up walking back into town for something).
|A Humming bird on display|
After the museum, rather than head back to the train station we decided to pop over and see Tring Park. This is an area run by the Woodland Trust, it is mixed woodland and unimproved Chalk Grassland (we only visited the grassland as it was quite late in the day and scorchingly hot when we got there).
It’s a short walk from the museum. But if I’m honest we made the mistake of walking from Tring train station to the museum (2 miles) in some really hot weather so we were quite tired by the time we hit the park.
I loved the area.
Red Kites could be heard calling from the woods (no sighting). But it was the butterflies that were most stunning, along with the sounds of hundreds of grasshoppers singing all around us!
Marbled whites (a species I don’t see often) were everywhere; along with heaps of Meadow Brown; Gatekeeper; and Small Heaths. The odd Small copper put in an appearance; as did one or two blues (at least Brown Argus which I photographed but others not ID’d); and best of all my first Fritillary ever in the UK! One very poor picture is all I managed of this sadly.
I was please to photograph two species of grasshopper; Common Green Grasshopper (see above) and Stripe-Winged Grasshoper (below).
But beyond this it was the quiet isolation that most impressed me, I saw 5 people (2 sets of 2 and 1 of 1) walking 4 dogs between them, and they were all distant, I see more than that in five minutes on my patch, and Bo loved walking through the cattle.
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