News & Events

Hundreds turn out for Sheffield's Wildlife of our Waterways event! Posted: 11/06/2010

Virtual wildlife in a virtual riverscape at the Wildlife in our Waterways eventSurvey work carried out by Weston Park Museum counted over 500 people attending the Wildlife of our Waterways event at the museum on the 2nd of June. The high turnout was particularly rewarding to the URSULA members running activity stalls at the event, for whom spreading awareness and educating the local community in water environmental issues, and raising the profile of URSULA was their key objectives.

Inside Weston Park Museum URSULA computer scientists Lewis Gill and Ed Morgan made use of their academic skills, running a virtual reality visualisation of the River Don in Sheffield. Visitors got the chance to play a game, navigating the virtual river bank, spotting virtual wildlife in and around the virtual river. Those looking closely could catch a flash of orange and blue as a Kingfisher shot down the Don, or glimpse a rat skulking down the side of Buddleja. Some of the wildlife such as the otters was more aspirational than reality for the centre of Sheffield of which the visualisation was based whereas others such as the ducks and grey wagtails can be reliably seen at many places along the Don. We have uploaded a video of the visualisation so there is a second chance for anyone who fancies themself as a wildlife buff to have a go at spotting our river animals.


Peter and Ed showing invertebrates caught from the River SheafOutside in Weston Park there was more existential wildlife to be seen as URSULA's Tom Wild and Ed Shaw and Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet's Peter Gribbon ran a stall for the newly established Don Catchment Rivers Trust displaying a wide range of creepy crawlies in trays caught from the River Sheaf. Visitors could participate in a game of identifying the different river mini-beasts including Mayfly, Stonefly and Caddisfly larvae, and using information of water quality requirements of the water invertebrates guess the water quality of the different river samples. And while this was a little too challenging for the younger participants, capturing the smaller invertebrates with pipettes turned out to be particularly popular with the smaller children.