Nature Lab

Our interactive exhibition tells the story of the remarkable River Rye, its wildlife, history and cultural significance.

Take part in fun and family-friendly science projects. Move virtual mountains to investigate water flow with our augmented reality sandbox, become a River Ranger and display your art in a pop-up wildlife gallery. Discover life under the microscope, explore the area’s vegetation and geology, along with information about the various animal species that make the catchment their home.

Shape the landscape

Get digging in the augmented reality sandbox to create your own valleys and rivers. Then, place your hand over to make virtual rain fall across your landscape.

Nature lab credit Dependable Productions

Discover wildlife through art

A kingfisher, a grey heron and a toad are just some of the many elegant illustrations that fill the exhibition space, including an interactive lifecycle display. Drawn by illustrator Nick Ellwood, they capture the vitality, detail and beauty of the area’s wildlife, including lesser-known species such as the mysterious Alcathoe bat.

Kingfisher illustration by Nick Ellwood

Miniature nature safari

Take a closer look at the native flora and geology of the area through two state-of-the-art, digital microscopes – a world beyond our normal range of sight awaits.

Mum and daughter using a microscope in an exhibition setting. Credit Dependable Productions.

The River Rye flows across the west of the North York Moors and into the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Since 2019, the Ryevitalise Landscape Partnership has been working to restore and enhance not only the River Rye itself, but also its wider catchment area and habitats. This includes the Rivers Seph and Riccal, along with ancient woodlands, marshy grasslands and species-rich meadows.

Ryevitalise Landscape Partnership logoThe Nature Lab is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to work towards restoring and enhancing not only the River Rye itself, but also its wider catchment area and habitats through our Ryevitalise Landscape Partnership project.

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