THE wild side of nature is being explored by a North-East university next week.

That's as Durham University is inviting nature-lovers to take a walk on the wild side with a free exhibition which opens on Saturday, May 18.

Wild: A Celebration of the Natural History of the British Isles will explore how animals have adapted to survive and thrive in the varied environments of the British Isles.

Visitors to the university’s Palace Green Library will have the opportunity to see some of Britain’s most elusive animals, such as the red fox, red squirrel, barn owl and great crested newt, up close, in taxidermy, and learn about them in an accessible way.

There will also be games, activities and a free gallery trail for visitors to enjoy.

The exhibition also includes treasures from Palace Green Library’s Special Collections, including a 19th Century Boys Own annuals - a series of magazines, stories and newsletters published between in the United Kingdom and United States - and hand-painted illustrations of British birds by noted ornithologist John Selby.

Visitors can also learn about the work of Durham Wildlife Trust and participate in the Trust’s animal-spotting programme MammalWeb, which was developed in collaboration with the university.

The exhibition will be at Palace Green Library from Saturday, May 18 to Sunday, October 6.

It will be open daily from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free and booking is not required.

There will also be an events programme with family activities taking place each weekend, including making bird nests and animal puppets, as well as nature spotting.

Durham University academics and Durham Wildlife Trust representatives will present their research, in a series of talks aimed at adult visitors.

David Wright, the exhibition curator, said: “Palace Green Library is being taken over by animals for the summer – from soaring birds to swimming fish, and everything in between.

“Bring your family on a wild adventure and learn about the wonderful world of British wildlife.”

Wild: A Celebration of the Natural History of the British Isles is a touring exhibition produced by Blue Tokay.

For more information visit or