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Natural History Museum, London
Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD London, United Kingdom
Wild City: Creatures of the night
On 25 August, meet experts in nocturnal animal behaviour and biology, and find out what goes on in our cities when we go home and get ready for bed.
See specimens from the Museum collection, including nocturnal moths and unusually beautiful slugs.
Entry is free, but you'll need to book tickets to visit the exhibitions, Whales: Beneath the surface and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Find out about the exhibitions below.
The evening kicks off with the first talk at 19.00.
Attenborough Studio. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.
**Night watch: preserving the darkness
Join us on an interactive adventure through an urban wildlife nightscape, hosted by friendly neighbourhood ecologist and Museum scientist, Steph West, who recently appeared on BBC Four’s A Year of British Garden Wildlife.
Ever wondered what that rustle in the undergrowth was, that dark shadow swooping past, or eerie glow in the bushes?
Put your nocturnal detective skills to the test and find out about the creatures that share our urban environments at night, and how we can record and monitor them.
**Like a moth to a light
Why are moths attracted to the light? How are they affected by artificial lighting in our cities? And is there anything we can do about it?
Meet some stars of the night with Museum moth expert David Lees, who will present an array of moth specimens from the Museum collection. Discover why light pollution is such a problem for moths, and how it affects hundreds of other species.
**Save our slugs: solidarity with our slimy friends
Often regarded as the lesser cousin of the snail, the slug is being slaughtered in vast numbers every night, right on our doorsteps and in our back gardens. It is time someone spoke out for them.
Join Museum curator of molluscs Jon Ablett, who is championing the slug. He proposes that slugs are guilty only of taking advantage of the free garden banquet on offer. Hear about the important role these animals play in our ecosystems, learn about the diversity of UK slugs, and witness their beauty – including the dazzling display of the leopard slug.
**Mammals moving in
When it comes to wildlife, the city never sleeps, but are we infringing upon nature with our lights and late night noise? Or are animals exploiting us?
Museum scientist Louise Tomsett compares rural mammal species in our collection with their city-living contemporaries, including hedgehogs, rats, foxes and bats. What can we learn from looking at the specimens about the lives of urban mammals?
**Bat Conservation Trust
Bats and people have been sharing dwellings for thousands of years. As natural roosting sites have become scarce due to development and land use change, the number of artificial roost sites has increased. These take the form of houses, bridges, mines, and other manmade structures.
The Bat Conservation Trust exists to protect these amazing but vulnerable animals, to better understand them, and to help bats and people coexist where they overlap.
Find out what you can do to help and discover the bats in your own neighbourhood.
You can also join our bat walk to Kensington Gardens, led by the Bat Conservation Trust, to witness London bats and learn how to record them. Meet in the Darwin Centre Courtyard at 21:30.
**London Wildlife Trust
London Wildlife Trust is dedicated to protecting the capital's wildlife and wild spaces, engaging London's diverse communities through free access to nature reserves, campaigning, volunteering and education.
Nocturnal animal species are facing numerous threats in some of our cities. Species at risk include hedgehogs, where the urban population has fallen by a third in the last ten years.
Drop in to their station in Lasting Impressions to find out how you can better protect London's hedgehogs and other nocturnal wildlife.
As darkness falls on the Museum's Wildlife Garden, the biodiversity present during the day settles down and the nocturnal biodiversity comes to life.
Pay an evening visit to the garden to escape the hustle and bustle. Discover recent nocturnal sightings in the garden, including what has been collected from our moth trap. You can also take part in our bat trail and meet bat carers and live bats in the garden hut.
**Spirit Collection Tours
Meet in Darwin Centre
Go behind the scenes with our knowledgeable science educators for a look at the Museum's fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit.
As we explore some of the Darwin Centre’s 27 kilometres of shelves, you’ll encounter numerous treasures hidden among the 22 million animal specimens housed here.
You’ll meet Archie, our 8.62-metre-long giant squid, view specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself and learn more about our cutting-edge research.
*Food and drinks**
Banish your thirst or grab a snack at the bars in the North Hall and in the Fossil Marine Reptiles gallery, where you can choose from selections of cocktails, wine, beer and soft drinks.
**Exhibitions by night**
Visit Whales: Beneath the surface and Wildlife Photographer of the Year when you come along to #NHMLates. Find out more: bit.ly/NHM-Exhibitions-Aug-Lates
Don't forget, if you're a #NHMmember you have unlimited free access to temporary exhibitions. It's easy to sign up online: bit.ly/NHM-Become-A-Member