The Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton has been awarded funding of up to £3,500 by the Royal Society for its planned 2025 exhibition.

The museum is one of thirty-six small museums from across the UK to be awarded funding in the latest round of its Places of Science scheme to engage communities with their local science stories. 

Next year’s exhibition - A Shroud for Mother Nature – Is Dartmoor Dying? - will showcase the threats to Dartmoor and the ongoing conservation efforts to protect the landscape and wildlife.

Nearly 80% of Sites of Scientific Interest at Dartmoor National Park have been given “unfavourable” status and, as part of the exhibition, artisan Yuli Somme will decorate a handmade shroud of Dartmoor wool with felted representations of dying Dartmoor. A wall of promises will encourage visitors to pledge to do something to save the much-loved national park. Workshops to decorate the shroud will be held this July and the finished item will become the centrepiece of next year’s exhibition.

Kristy Turner, manager and curator of the museum, said: ‘We are thrilled to be awarded this second grant from The Royal Society to enable us to explore this critical situation. So many people are involved in protecting Dartmoor but opinions do differ and we have found that members of the public are confused. It will be useful to bring together the views of all these community partners and charities under one roof and hopefully discover ways we can all help. Without this funding, small museums like ours would struggle to bring these exhibitions to life for our visitors to learn from and be inspired by.’

Places of Science is a scheme which provides grants to small museums for projects that tell the stories of science and scientists that resonate with communities across the UK. It aims to celebrate projects that will evoke curiosity, interest and enthusiasm by exploring science in a creative way, while also contributing to the museum sector’s recovery.

The news comes following the official opening of the museum on Monday (March 19) for this season. This year’s exhibition is Magic and Myth.