What wildlife events are on in May?

Discover the amazing wildlife and nature events happening around the UK this month, including activities for children and families, free events, and more!

Common nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) singing in spring woodland

Looking for something to do this May? We’ve collated nature and wildlife events happening around the country this month, including museum exhibitions, scientific talks and more.

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Please note that this is a selection of events taking place around the UK. Check out your local nature reserves and conservation groups to find out what other activities are being held in your area. Events are listed by country (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), and then alphabetically by county. 

Nationwide events

So you think you know about dinosaurs … ?! with Ben Garrod

  • When: Monday 1 April – Sunday 12 May
  • What: The hit stage show starring dinosaur aficionado Dr Ben Garrod returns. Get ready to go on an exciting pre-historic adventure as Ben explores the biggest, deadliest and weirdest predators that ever roamed the planet.
  • Where: Various locations, see website for details
  • Is this event free? No. Tickets £10-£15.
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact venues for details.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes, but accompanied by adults. Aimed at ages 5-12.
  • Website: So you think you know about dinosaurs … ?!

Soapbox Science

Chioma Vivian Ngonadi sharing her research with the public in London during Soapbox Science 2018. © Soapbox Science.
Chioma Vivian Ngonadi sharing her research with the public in London during Soapbox Science 2018. © Soapbox Science.
  • When: Saturday 25 May – Saturday 20 July
  • What: Women in science will be celebrated across the globe this summer – at Soapbox Science, where female scientists take the stand to preach their passion, display their discoveries, and hype-up their hypotheses in cities all over the world.
  • Where: Various locations, see website for details
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact venues for details.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Website: Soapbox Science

What events are on in Bedfordshire this month?

Great brick safari

Reclining LEGO hyena
  • When: Saturday 6 April – Sunday 2 June
  • What: Set off on an exciting journey of discovery, uncovering unbelievable LEGO brick beasts and mammoth LEGO brick mammals. From a jumbo elephant that weighs a tonne of bricks to a giant gorilla that’s built for life in the jungle.
  • Where: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
  • Organised by: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Is this event free? No, normal admission prices apply
  • Website: Great brick safari

What events are on in Bristol this month?

Altered Ocean

  • When: Thursday 4 April – Sunday 23 June
  • What: Altered Ocean documents Mandy Barker’s visual journey as a photographic artist combining science, with the issue of marine plastic pollution. Large-scale prints from her series: INDEFINITE, SOUP, SHOAL, Hong Kong Soup 1826, Penalty, and Beyond Drifting, provide an insight into her journey and connection with the issue over the past 10 years.
  • Where: The Royal Photographic Society gallery, Paintworks Creative Quarter, Bristol
  • Is this event free? No. Standard admission £7 / concession £5. Under 18s and RPS members free.
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Possibly – contact organiser for details.
  • Website: Altered Ocean

Masters of Japanese Prints: Nature and Seasons

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusa © Bristol Culture
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusa © Bristol Culture.
  • When: Saturday 18 May— Sunday 8 September
  • What: The exhibition will explore the plants, birds, insects and weather that act as powerful symbols of seasonal change in Japanese culture. The woodblock prints celebrate poetic pleasures such as the cherry blossom and wisteria of spring, cicadas and summer festivals, geese flying across the autumn moon and winter snow-viewing.
  • Where: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
  • Organised by: Bristol Museums
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Yes
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Website: Bristol museum & art gallery

What events are on in Cambridgeshire this month?

Evolution as inspiration

Evolution on the Wing by Jonathan Kingdon. Photo © O. Negra, MUSE – Science Museum
Evolution on the Wing by Jonathan Kingdon. Photo © O. Negra, MUSE – Science Museum
  • When: Friday 17 May – Sunday 19 September
  • What: This exhibition of sculpture, paintings, ceramics and drawings offers a biologist’s effort to understand key evolutionary questions: Why do animals live where they live? How have different species evolved to appear the way that they do? Why have different patterns evolved in nature?
  • Where: Museum of Zoology University of Cambridge
  • Organised by: Museum of Zoology University of Cambridge and Cambridge Conservation Initiative
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Yes – contact venue for details
  • Website: Evolution as inspiration

What events are on in Derbyshire this month?

Guided butterfly walk: Longstone Edge

Wall butterfly. © Bob Eade/Butterfly Conservation
Wall butterfly. © Bob Eade/Butterfly Conservation
  • When: Saturday 18 May, 10am – 1pm
  • What: Join the East Midlands Branch of Butterfly Conservation on this butterfly walk, where it’s hoped you will see beautiful butterflies like the Green Hairstreak or Wall, as well as a number of other spring species.
  • Where: Longstone Edge, Derbyshire Dales
  • Organised by: Butterfly Conservation
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website:Guided butterfly walk: Longstone Edge

What events are on in Dorset this month?

Wildlife gardening talk and demonstration

Kate Bradbury
  • When: Wednesday 29 May, 3.30 – 8.30pm
  • What: Award-winning author, journalist and wildlife gardening expert, Kate Bradbury, will be giving a wildlife gardening demonstration. There will also be a three-course dinner in the main barn at the Kingcombe Centre, and Kate will read an extract from her book The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, talk about the garden that inspired it, and answer questions.
  • Where: The Kingcombe Centre, Toller Porcorum, Dorset
  • Organised by: Dorset Wildlife Trust
  • Is this event free? No, £75 per person. Booking essential
  • Is this event suitable for children? No
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Wildlife gardening talk and demonstration

What events are on in Gloucestershire this month?

Woodchester Park after dark

Lime hawk-moth. © Adam Gor/Butterfly Conservation
Lime hawk-moth. © Adam Gor/Butterfly Conservation
  • When: Friday 17 May
  • What: Join Butterfly Conservation and the National Trust for an evening wander around the National Trust’s Woodchester Park. We’ll be looking and listening out for our resident bats and seeing what other nocturnal wildlife we can spot.
  • Where: Woodchester Park
  • Organised by: Butterfly Conservation and the National Trust
  • Is this event free? Yes, but booking is required.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Woodchester Park after dark

Rock-rose pot beetle identification and survey workshop

  • When: Tuesday 21 May, 10.45am – 3.30pm
  • What: Join conservationists to learn how to identify and survey for the Rock-rose Pot Beetle, one of the Back from the Brink project’s most elusive target species. Led by Buglife, the day will combine an indoor at Dursley Community Centre followed by an outdoor session on Stinchcombe Hill to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to help us undertake surveys for this very rare beetle. The aim is to get a comprehensive picture of where these beetles currently are and how they are doing here in Gloucestershire.
  • Where: Dursley Community Centre and Stinchcombe Hill
  • Organised by: Back from the Brink, Buglife and Butterfly Conservation
  • Is this event free? Yes, but booking is required.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Rock-rose pot beetle identification and survey workshop

What events are on in Greater Manchester this month?

Red List Insects: Martin Wilson exhibition

  • When: Saturday 26 January – June
  • What: Photographer Martin Wilson exhibits his macro images of endangered, threatened and extinct insects, taken from the Manchester Museum collection. These spectacular creatures have been photographed at 15 times their original size. The exhibition aims to raise awareness of the UK insects featured on the IUCN Red List.
  • Where: The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester
  • Organised by: The Manchester Museum
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Yes – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Red List Insects: Martin Wilson exhibition

What events are on in Hertfordshire this month?

British dinosaurs: from fossils to feathers

  • When: Friday 5 April – Friday 11 October (Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm. Sunday: 2 – 5pm)
  • What: A new exhibition at the Natural History Museum at Tring will explore the dinosaurs of the British Isles, encouraging children to learn about the ancient reptiles that once roamed on their doorstep.  Come face-to-face with awe-inspiring exhibits such as the cast of a Baryonyx walkeri skull and explore the Museum galleries to visit its modern-day descendants.
  • Where: Natural History Museum at Tring, Hertfordshire
  • Organised by: Natural History Museum at Tring
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website: British dinosaurs: from fossils to feathers

What events are on in Kent this month?

Moth discovery evening

Daisies. © Butterfly Conservation
Daisies. © Butterfly Conservation
  • When: Friday 17 May, 8 – 11pm
  • What: An introduction to moths, their identification, trapping and recording.
  • Where: Hythe, Kent
  • Organised by: Butterfly Conservation
  • Is this event free? TBC. Spaces are limited – register your interest with the organiser
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Moth discovery evening

What events are on in London this month?

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, Natural History Museum

Animal Portraits - Highly Commended. © Isak Pretorius / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Animal Portraits – Highly Commended. © Isak Pretorius / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • When: Friday 19 October 2018 – summer 2019
  • What: Now in its 54th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition combines the extraordinary work of talented professionals and gifted amateur photographers from around the globe. The exhibition showcases the beauty, magnificence and diversity of life on our planet, whilst highlighting its fragility and our crucial role in protecting it. Come and be enamoured by the wonderment of nature in the world we live in.
  • Where: Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London
  • Organised by: Natural History Museum
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Yes
  • Is this event free? No. Although the museum is free, temporary exhibitions and some events do cost money. An overview of ticket prices for this exhibition: adults £15, children £9, concessions £12
  • Website: Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition

Street-smart animals: incorporating cognitive behaviour into conservation efforts

Serval cat at ZSL London Zoo. © James Godwin/ZSL
Serval cat at ZSL London Zoo. © James Godwin/ZSL
  • When: Tuesday 14 May, 6 – 7.45pm
  • What: Human-induced urbanization, invasive species and land clearing are changing the environment at a far quicker pace than animals are able to adapt. How can animals survive such changes? Cognitive mechanisms, such as associative learning, can play a crucial role in determining how well animals cope with changing environments. Speakers: Graham Martin (University of Birmingham), Dr Alex Thornton (University of Exeter) and Robert Harland (ZSL London Zoo). Chair: Dr Claudia Martina (UCL & ZSL)
  • Where: ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London
  • Organised by: ZSL London Zoo
  • Is this event suitable for children? No
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Website: Street-smart animals

Special Children’s Day

Singing Hands - Special Children's Day. © ZSL
  • When: Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 May
  • What: Special Children’s Day is a unique annual event at ZSL London Zoo, welcoming children with special needs and their families and friends. There are increased specialist facilities and staff presence, as well as interactive events and discounted entry. Special Children’s Day at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo takes place on Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 June.
  • Where: ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London
  • Organised by: ZSL London Zoo
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Yes – contact organiser for full details
  • Is this event free? No. Discounted entry, plus additional Special Children’s Day activities are free.
  • Website: Special Children’s Day

What events are on in Norfolk this month?

Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair

Pensthorpe Natural Park.
Pensthorpe Natural Park.
  • When: Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 May
  • What: Pensthorpe Conservation Trust are hosting a Pensthorpe Bird & Wildlife Fair – showcasing why Norfolk is renowned as ‘the birdwatching capital of Britain’. The event will feature guest speakers, demonstrations, walks and talks, and book signings. The event is a celebration of nature-spotting in Norfolk and will bring together experts in the fields of optic equipment, wildlife-inspired art and crafts, books and wildlife and nature holidays.
  • Where: Pensthorpe Natural Park
  • Organised by: Pensthorpe Conservation Trust
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes
  • Is this event accessible? Yes – contact venue for full details. The reserve has designated paths for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Some wheelchairs are available for hire for free. There are five disabled toilets on site.
  • Is this event free? No. Tickets cost £8.
  • Website: Pensthorpe Bird and Wildlife Fair

EVENTS IN SCOTLAND

What events are on in Dundee this month?

Urban butterfly identification workshop

Small copper butterfly. © Udo Ritke/Butterfly Conservation
Small copper butterfly. © Udo Ritke/Butterfly Conservation
  • When: Wednesday 15 May, 10am – 3pm
  • What: Come along to this free event to learn how to identify and record Dundee’s butterflies. The event will introduce all the species you are likely to see in the area, and you’ll receive free guides to take away. The aim of the day will be to help new volunteers take part in recording butterflies in urban greenspaces.
  • Where: The Maxwell Centre, Dundee
  • Organised by: Butterfly Conservation and The Maxwell Centre
  • Is this event suitable for children? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Website: Urban butterfly identification workshop

What events are on in Edinburgh this month?

Urban butterfly identification workshop

Daisies. © Butterfly Conservation
Daisies. © Butterfly Conservation
  • When: Thursday 16 May, 10am – 3pm
  • What: Come along to this free event to learn how to identify and record Edinburgh’s butterflies. The event will introduce all the species you are likely to see in the area, and you’ll receive guides to take away. The aim of the day will be to help new volunteers take part in recording butterflies along a new recording route (called ‘transect’) in Little France Park.
  • Where: Little France Park, Edinburgh
  • Organised by: Butterfly Conservation and City of Edinburgh Council
  • Is this event suitable for children? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Is this event free? Yes
  • Website: Urban butterfly identification workshop

What events are on in Glasgow this month?

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure

Dippy being reassembled in Glasgow. © SNS
Dippy being reassembled in Glasgow. © SNS
  • When: Tuesday 22 January – Sunday 5 May, 10am – 5pm
  • What: In the fourth stop on its eight-venue-tour over almost three years, the Natural History Museum London’s famous diplodocus cast (known as Dippy) is on show in Glasgow. At Kelvingrove, Dippy’s 292 bone structure will be accompanied by a very special exhibition telling the story of Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish philanthropist who, in Wyoming in 1912, uncovered the fossil from which Dippy is cast. The exhibition will display a variety objects related to the Diplodocus’s fascinating history, giving visitors the chance to learn more about Andrew Carnegie and his namesake Diplodocus carnegii.
  • Where: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
  • Organised by: Natural History Museum London and Glasgow Life
  • Is this event free? Yes.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes.
  • Is this event accessible? Yes – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure

EVENTS IN WALES

What events are on in Flintshire this month?

Spring wildflower walk

  • When: Wednesday 22 May, 10am – 12pm
  • What: Join the Wildlife Trust for a walk around Coed y Felin Nature Reserve, learning about the wildflowers found here in spring.
  • Where: Coed y Felin, Hendre, Flintshire
  • Organised by: North Wales Wildlife Trust
  • Is this event free? yes, but donations are welcome.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Not really.
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Spring wildflower walk

What events are on in Gwynedd this month?

Bluebells and flycatchers

  • When: Friday 17 May, 10am – 4pm
  • What: Enjoy the signs of spring on this guided woodland walk. Bring a picnic!
  • Where: Cors Author, Y Friog (Fairbourne), Gwynedd
  • Organised by: North Wales Wildlife Trust
  • Is this event free? Yes, but donations are welcome.
  • Is this event suitable for children? Yes.
  • Is this event accessible? Possibly – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Bluebells and flycatchers

What events are on in Powys this month?

Black Grouse Talk

Black grouse. © Paul Leafe
Black grouse. © Paul Leafe
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  • When: Wednesday 29 May, 7 – 8.30pm
  • What: This talk will cover the Resilient Reserves for the Heart of Wales Project, and the Black Grouse Recovery element of it. The talk will be given by Silvia Cojocaru, the Black Grouse Recovery Project Officer, who would like to find out the opinion of the local communities regarding the reintroduction of this species at Mynydd Ffoesidoes Nature Reserve, in Radnor Forest.
  • Where: New Radnor Village Hall
  • Organised by: Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
  • Is this event free? Yes – for RWT members. £2 for non-members.
  • Is this suitable for children? Yes, for children over 8 years old.
  • Is this event accessible? Yes – contact organiser for details
  • Website: Black Grouse Talk

How to submit an event for this page

If you have a wildlife or nature-themed event that could be included on this page, please e-mail Megan Shersby with the following:

  • Name of event
  • Website link for the event
  • Date and time
  • Location (including county)
  • Information about the event (no more than 50 words)
  • Pricing and booking details
  • Publicity image (with credit)
  • Whether the event is accessible and/or suitable for children

Ideally, events should be received at least two weeks before the calendar month begins.