Lions at every corner
Kate Titford from BBOWT gets up close to ancient and modern wildlife
DID you know that lions and woolly mammoths once roamed the area we know as College Lake nature reserve near Tring? Thousands of years ago the area was savannah grassland and home to these large animals.
Millions of years before that, the area was covered by a tropical sea. The remains of tiny algae in the water dropped to the sea floor and eventually formed the chalk that now extends all the way through the Chilterns.
When the site was excavated for chalk during the late 20th century many fascinating fossils and remains that had been buried within the chalk were uncovered.
A new exhibition, Humans in Ancient Britain, at the Natural History Museum in Tring tells the intriguing story of prehistoric Britain. Exhibits include some of the remains found at College Lake when it was Marsworth Quarry, such as the lower jaw of a lion and a woolly mammoth leg bone, which are both around 190,000 years old.
Other archaeological treasures on display include a Neanderthal hand axe from Burnham in south Bucks and a rhino pelvis bone found in West Sussex.
Pay a visit to the exhibition and take a step back in time to imagine what life would be like if we were to have woolly mammoths, lions and rhinos for neighbours.
Staff from the Natural History Museum and the local Wildlife Trust have teamed up this summer to run events investigating the wildlife that is alive today too. Join them at The Big Bug Swish at College Lake nature reserve and sweep a net through the meadows.
You’ll be amazed at the variety of tiny insects you can catch, from ladybirds and other beetles to spiders and flies. They are attracted by the wonderful array of wild flowers and grasses that live in the meadows.
The lakes and marsh at College Lake are home to amazing wetland birds but there is also a pond where you can delve beneath the surface. During The Big Bug Swish you can have a go at pond dipping and see which creatures call it home. Look at dragonfly larvae with ferocious jaws, water beetles and other watery wonders.
We are so lucky to have two wonderful places close to Tring where we can learn more about our fascinating history and present day wildlife. Make the most of them this summer and have some wild days out.
Join The Big Bug Swish and discover what’s living in the meadows at College Lake
A lion jaw bone, around 190,000 years old, excavated from College Lake
College Lake – home to the remains of prehistoric wildlife