New gallery: Life, River and Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames
© River and Rowing Museum. Image: Ian Macdonald
“Rivers are magical places,” says the River and Rowing Museum’s Paul Mainds, discussing the surprises in store inside the Oxfordshire venue’s newest section.
“We are lucky to have the Thames flowing past our door – it enables us to explore a wide range of issues, from wildlife and ecology to renewable energy.”
Mainds says the Life zone will allow the museum to provide a “radical new experience” for punters, introducing minks, mitten crabs and other pothole-pilfering delights.
There’s a strong environmental undercurrent to the design, and a particular focus on enthusing children, with interactive elements on food webs, lifecycles, the changing of the seasons and paw prints.
You can match birds to the songs they sing, find out how foreign species are impacting on life in UK rivers and see dioramas of exotic favourites such as the dragonfly, which goes from underwater nymph to bejewelled flying insect.
Life is the first of ten new sections planned for the River Gallery between now and the end of 2012, celebrating the history of the Thames and its place within the surrounding region and nationally.
- Open 10am-5.30pm (5pm September 1 – April 30). Admission £8/£6 (includes re-admission for a year).