Snakes, spades, space and soil – Day 2 of BU’s Festival of Learning

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Rainfall didn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds of people attending the second day of Bournemouth University’s Festival of Learning.

A whole range of free events took place on and off campus – from the chance to Meet Your Inner Monkey at Hengistbury Head to playing Raveminton, complete with UV lights and music.

Local historian Andrew Emery led a Jekyll and Hyde walking tour around Westbourne, exploring the former home of Robert Louis Stevenson and the influences on his iconic work.

Katherine Alder, of Wallisdown, was one of those who braved the rain to join the tour.

She said: “It’s something a bit different to do, to learn something new, and it’s a nice Sunday activity – and really interesting.

“I’d definitely recommend people come along to the Festival of Learning – it’s well worth it, especially because it’s free.”

People had the chance to learn about a different kind of history at the Big Dig Open Day in Winterborne Kingston – where a prehistoric township has recently been uncovered by BU archaeology students.

Rob Clitheroe, from West Moors, attended the event after seeing it on social media.

“I’ve always been interested in archaeology but the first time I’ve ever done it,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed my time immensely, seeing this, it’s been fascinating. Absolutely brilliant. I’d absolutely recommend it to others too.”

Meanwhile, on Talbot Campus, there was a vast array of activities taking place for all ages – including Soil: the Cinderella beneath our feet and How Disney movies are shaping the colonisation of space.

AFC Bournemouth were also running family fun days, with football activities for children, while sporty types had the chance to try something a bit different with Raveminton and Ravepong games played under UV light.

Mike Hurl had travelled from Lymington to take part in the Ravepong table tennis.

He said: “We quite like ping pong and we normally just play at our local centre but we heard about it in the dark and we thought why not! It’s good fun – very different from the usual game.

“The Festival of Learning is brilliant, absolutely fantastic– it’s an opportunity to try out things you wouldn’t normally try.”

Youngsters also had the chance to get up close and personal with creepy crawlies during the Studland Showcase, an exploration of the natural habitat of the Studland area and the creatures that live there.

Eight-year-old Harrison Coles was one of those taking part.

“I’ve been holding snakes and talking about where they live and what they need to eat and what kind of places they hide if they are scared,” he said.

“The snake was scaly but it felt smooth too. I really enjoyed it.”

The Festival of Learning runs until Friday 17 July, with over 150 free events and activities over the course of the week.

You can find out more and book onto events through the Festival of Learning website.