‘AIRYMOUSE’ – NEW EXHIBITION EXPLORES PORTHCURNO’S BATS
PK Porthcurno launches new bat exhibition in partnership with the Mammal Society
Planet PK, the award-winning environmental programme of PK Porthcurno have partnered with the Mammal Society for a new exhibition, ‘Airymouse’, which explores the fascinating world of Porthcurno’s bats.
A recent bat survey by PK Porthcurno on the museum’s land confirmed a healthy bat population in Porthcurno Valley including pipistrelles and even greater horseshoe bats, which are particularly rare in the UK. Over the last century bat populations have decreased dramatically in the UK, so PK Porthcurno are aiming to raise awareness of how people can look after and encourage bats in their local areas. Planet PK decided to dig deeper and find out more about these amazing creatures, which receive so much bad press.
‘Airymouse’ is the Cornish dialect for Bat. The exhibition shares fascinating bat facts and explores ‘echolocation’ – bats’ unique method of communication out of the realms of human hearing. Visitors can learn about the threats bats face from living near to humans and what we can do to help these wonderful protected species.
‘Airymouse’ also features stunning bat photographs courtesy of exhibition partners the Mammal Society, a curated film of nocturnal bat footage from Devon Wildlife Trust and a stunning bat illustration by Cornish tattoo artist Dave Haddock. Bats are fascinating animals that often suffer a bad reputation due to the misconception of being ‘pests’ that damage buildings as well as their often-dark symbolic portrayal in literature and folklore.
In reality bats are highly social, very intelligent and have an amazing and unique method of communication. Bats use echolocation to communicate and find their prey, it is so accurate that they can locate things as small and thin as a human hair, this is a form of biological sonar also seen in certain whale species, dolphins and shrews. Andy Bool, CEO of the Mammal Society says, “Bats play an important role in ecosystems here in the UK as pollinators, pest controllers and seed dispersers. We’re delighted to be partnering with PK Porthcurno to showcase these amazing animals and encourage people to help protect and preserve them for future generations.” Maeve Twomlow, Planet PK Digital Media Assistant and Curator of ‘Airymouse’ says, “Curating the new Planet PK exhibition ‘Airymouse’ has been an amazing experience. I have loved learning about the complex world of bat communication and discovering the vital roles that they play in our ecosystems here in Cornwall. I hope those who visit ‘Airymouse’ find it just as enriching and are inspired to get involved in some bat conservation efforts!” Airymouse is showing now in the museum’s World War II Tunnels and will run until the end of June 2023. Please seewww.pkporthcurno.com for opening times and booking.