Leeds ,

Dam good news as animal exhibition gets eco awards nod

An eco-friendly exhibition which used natural materials to highlight some of the animal kingdom’s most ingenious architects has been nominated for a top national award.

Beavers to Weavers: The Wonderful World of Animal Makers, has made the shortlist for the prestigious Museums Change Lives (MCL) awards in the category of environmental sustainability.

Organised by the Museums Association, the awards aim to champion the work of individuals and institutions around the UK working with and for their communities.

Beavers to Weavers, which welcomed more than 48,000 people to Leeds City Museum last year, showcased a spectacular array of beautifully complex creations made by different species living in habitats across the world.

Curated using hand-made paper, reused materials and recycled paint, the exhibition also encouraged visitors to think about how we can all reduce our impact on the natural world through a series of workshops and events.

The awards will be held in Brighton on October 3.

Rebecca Machin, Leeds Museums and Galleries’ curator of natural sciences, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for this prestigious award and in particular to see the exhibition acknowledged for raising awareness about our collective responsibility to protect the planet and its vulnerable species.

“Throughout Beavers to Weavers, we put a huge amount of effort into ensuring that we not only displayed some of the endless wonders of the natural world, but that the exhibition would be as environmentally friendly as possible in every respect.

“It’s our hope that by highlighting some of the animal kingdom’s many marvels in a responsible and sustainable way, we helped our visitors to understand more about the world around them and the role we each have to play in global conservation.”

Among the objects which displayed during the exhibition were tiny, exquisite pearl Buddha figures made inside oyster shells a gigantic wasps’ nest, on loan from Manchester Museum, and the delicate egg sacs of spiders, mantises and octopus.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Leeds Museums and Galleries and Leeds City Museum for being nominated for this award but also for their imagination and innovation in encouraging tens of thousands of visitors to look at animals and nature from a different perspective.

“Museums play such an important part in educating and informing us all about our responsibility to protect our environment, our future and the vulnerable species we share the planet with.

“I’d like to congratulate the Leeds Museums and Galleries team and wish them the very best of luck at next month’s awards.”


Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 378 9182 (please note my new number)

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk


About Leeds City Museum

Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 8BH


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Leeds City Museum was established in 1819 and reopened on 13 September 2008, having moved to the former Mechanics’ Institute located on Millennium Square in the centre of Leeds. With four floors and six galleries to visit, the museum offers an exciting, fun and interactive day out for all the family. The museum collection spans ancient and contemporary history, the local area and the wider world. The museum’s temporary exhibition space hosts a changing programme of exhibitions, currently A City and its Welcome, open until 31 December 2019.

The museum was named winner of the Kids in Museums ‘Family Friendly Museum of the Year 2018’. Family activities and school holiday events take place throughout the year including craft sessions at Rory’s Saturday Club, Tiny Tigers for under 5s and Museum Minis. The museum has dedicated conference and events spaces, with in-house catering provided by Leeds City Museum Café. The museum welcomed 283,138 visitors in 2018.