RAF Museum joins The Wild Escape – a collaboration between UK museums
Published on: 24 January 2023
Today, the Royal Air Force Museum has announced that it will be joining The Wild Escape, a major new project uniting hundreds of museums with schools and families to find nature in museums.
Led by national art charity Art Fund and with support from Arts Council England, hundreds of museums, galleries, and historic houses are coming together for the largest ever collaboration between UK museums.
Taking place from January to July 2023, The Wild Escape invites children to find a favourite animal in their local museum and create an artwork imagining its journey to a natural habitat. The pictures and stories children create will be brought together in a collective work of art that imagines a better future for the wildlife on our doorstep, launched online and in museums on Earth Day 2023.
As part of The Wild Escape, RAF Museum has created activity packs for visiting schools and families at both its London and Midlands site. Children can take part in a nature hunt around the Museum grounds and help map the local biodiversity by marking on their trail sheet each creature they see. And if they spot something unexpected, there is space on the trail sheet to draw a picture. Inside the hangars, a biomimicry nature trail will look at how the aviation industry has been inspired by nature, learning from, and mimicking the strategies found in nature to solve aircraft design challenges. Activity packs will be downloadable from the Museum’s website, or you can pick up a copy on arrival.
In London, the learning team will be collaborating with local school groups, and running workshops for families during the Easter holidays, to create a giant aircraft artwork installation, made from individual origami birds. Students from Middlesex Dance Department and Sunnyfields Primary School are working with the RAF Museum on a dance project, taking inspiration from the Museum’s collection and RAF story with links to nature.
In the Midlands, the learning team have developed a digital pack for schools, encouraging learners to create a comic or short story, based on items from within the collection escaping the Museum. This could be the Spitfire sneaking out the hangar, a Lancaster on the loose, or a Hurricane playing hide and seek. Whatever the story, share it on social media and tag @rafmuseum to feature in an online gallery that will go live on Earth Day: Saturday 22 April. Keep a look out on social media for a video relating to biomimicry within the Museum for inspiration! Download the activity packs here.
The Wild Escape is an opportunity to join the urgent conversation about climate crisis and biodiversity loss and look for nature positive solutions, in partnership with leading environmental charities the RSPB and WWF and cultural organisations National Trust and English Heritage.
The Wild Escape is inspired by Wild Isles, a landmark BBC series exploring the flora and fauna of the UK.
Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund, said:
“I’m thrilled that the RAF Museum is joining hundreds of organisations from the Outer Hebrides to Folkestone to connect thousands of children with the natural world through the UK’s truly great museums. Thanks to the invaluable support of Arts Council England, the Wild Escape will empower families and children across the UK to visit and discover our wonderful museums, whilst taking positive action to picture a better future for our wildlife.”