A World of Good


Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday, Thursday: 9am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 4pm

Please be aware that at busy periods, there may be a short wait for admission to the exhibition.

 

“The one thing we need more than hope is action. Once we start to act, hope is everywhere.”
Greta Thunberg
The climate crisis is the biggest threat we face to humanity. A World of Good, a new multi-sensory, immersive exhibition at Wakefield Museum, is a call to action: to notice what is happening around us, and to pledge to make a difference in real and meaningful ways.

The exhibition centres on the letters of Charles Waterton, a 19th-century environmentalist who built the world’s first nature reserve at his home near Wakefield. His letters outline the action he was taking 200 years ago – protecting wildlife, campaigning against pollution, and promoting the benefits of nature for wellbeing.

The letters are complemented by contemporary paper sculpture by local artist Andy Singleton, animation by Charlotte Blacker, and the knowledge of nationally important figures such as Sir David Attenborough, Michael Palin and Liz Bonnin.

A World of Good will provide the inspiration to take action on the climate crisis, before giving you the tools to make change. Sign up to a public pledge to change just one thing in your life. Together, we can all do A World of Good.



Artists, Andy Singleton and Charlotte Blacker take us behind the scenes of the exhibition.
Film by Nick Singleton



A World of Good is part of Festival of the Earth, led by Wakefield Council, from July to October 2021 across the Wakefield district.



Do a World of Good: Our manifesto

"To put it simply, the state of the planet is broken. Dear friends, Humanity is waging war on nature."
Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations
Our planet is in pain. Plastic clogs our seas and litters our streets and countryside, pollution chokes our skies, water floods our homes, and fire burns our lands. Owning a bag for life, alone, is not going to stop this. 

We are all responsible for the welfare of our planet, our home. The need to take action is urgent. In the next ten years, we will all be expected to change the way we treat the environment and nature in every aspect of our lives. 

We are not just doing this for the planet, we are also doing it for ourselves. We know that a connection with the natural world is essential for our wellbeing.

Along with hundreds of governments, businesses, and organisations around the world, Wakefield Council has declared a climate emergency and made a commitment to being a carbon neutral organisation by 2030. We will help our visitors to achieve this goal too.
  
We have looked to our district to find inspirational pioneers, campaigners, innovators and agitators, both past and present. People who swim against the tide and try to change our attitudes to our planet and our resources, for the better: inventors of energy saving machines, entrepreneurs who find value where others see rubbish, and campaigners who fight to protect the environment and the natural world from the destructive actions of humanity. 

Our key inspiration is the environmental work of Charles Waterton of Walton Hall. Waterton campaigned to protect the natural world by creating a haven for wildlife and protecting it from hunters and pollution. Through his campaigning, he hoped he was doing “a world of good” but sadly, his work was largely ignored and dismissed as being eccentric. It has taken 150 years to listen to his warnings and to continue his fight for a better future: quite simple, we cannot ignore the threats to our planet anymore. 
 
We are working with experts to identify ways through which we can take action against climate change. We will share this advice with you, so that you can take positive action too. Together, we can all do A World of Good for our planet; after all, from small acorns grow mighty oak trees. 

What we will do:
  • Promote green and environmental sustainability messages in our exhibitions, learning, and engagement programming
  • Practise what we preach and find sustainable materials to deliver our programmes, invest in low energy equipment, recycle what we use
  • Spread the word and encourage our visitors to take action, whilst also celebrating and collecting environmental achievements and success stories from across the district

 Dave Mee, Countryside Ranger for Anglers Country Park, reflects on Waterton's pioneering nature reserve and its legacy today.
Film by Voices and Video

Stay tuned to our A World of Good YouTube playlist, featuring Michael Palin reading Waterton and leading climate experts including Liz Bonnin.



The story of Charles Waterton is complex. As well as being a conservationist and environmental campaigner, he was an explorer and a plantation manager in British Guiana, South America. We want to explore and share all aspects of Waterton's life. Find out more about Waterton's involvement with slavery here.


How you can Do a World of Good 


Use our e-form to make a public commitment to helping the environment:


From 26th July - 5th September 2021, you can also enter our Do A World of Good prize draw, in partnership with the Festival of the Earth. To find out how to get involved, follow us on social media and see https://bit.ly/PrizeDraw_TCs 


Teaching resources


As part of the A World of Good exhibition and manifesto, we also have a range of related resources and exciting activity ideas with links to the National Curriculum. Learners can conduct a species survey, create their own nature notebooks, use a carbon calculator, write persuasive letters, or design protest art. There is also everything you need to create your own DIY exhibition! Head to our Schools Resources page to find the activity packs. 



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