Television chat show host Jonathan Ross visits the Natural History Museum yesterday, 24 June, to launch National Insect Week 2014.
He was photographed with a stag beetle to highlight the theme of this year’s National Insect Week: Little Things That Run The World.
National Insect Week, now in its sixth year, is organised by the Royal Entomological Society (RES) which partnered with the Natural History Museum – home to the largest collection of invertebrates in the world – for the prestigious launch event.
Jonathan said: “You might not think insects can be fun but they are! They’re also hugely important and National Insect Week is a great way of improving everyone’s knowledge about them and the role they play in habitats not just in the UK but across the world. I never knew there was so much to learn about insects!”
Hundreds of events are being held across the UK this week, from bug hunts and bioblitzes to minibeast safaris and moth nights. Find out about events local to you on www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk. The week will culminate in a royal bioblitz in the grounds of Highgrove – the private residence of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Prince Charles has previously taken part in a National Insect Week bioblitz at Clarence House.
This year’s launch event at the Natural History Museum also featured a ‘Question Time’ style panel of eminent entomologists – chaired by Jonathan Ross – who answered questions from the public about insect species and the role they play in different habitats.
National Insect Week coordinator Luke Tilley said: “We’re delighted Jonathan could join us for the launch of Insect Week 2014 which has proved even more popular this year with more than 350 events being held right across the UK. All of them will play a vital role in our campaign to inform and educate people of all ages about insects and how they really do run the world.”
The launch event was attended by Year 4 pupils from Drayton Park, Highbury – as well as partners of National Insect Week who include the Natural History Museum, the National Trust, the RSPB, the Royal Horticultural Society, the Association of Science Education and the Environment Agency which provided the insects for the day.
Alastair Driver, National Conservation Manager for the Environment Agency said: “Not only are insects hugely valuable pollinators, cost-free pest controllers, superb indicators of water quality, and the canary in the mine for climate warming, but they can also be stunningly beautiful and charismatic. It’s time we started valuing them much more than we have in the past.”
National Insect Week organisers also launched today its popular photography competition which will focus on the theme Little Things That Run the World. More details about the competition can be found at: www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk. The closing date for entries is 31 October 2014.