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Dragon Finder


Life Under the Surface

The Horniman MuseumLondon’s freshwater ponds are home to a surprising number of different plants, insects and other animals. From well-known critters like frogs, pond snails, and water boatmen, to the unexpected like water stick insects and water scorpions. There is a lot of hidden life under the surface! In fact, ponds are such an important habitat for some of our native amphibian and reptile species that we decided to make this the starting point for our educational craft workshop.

‘Life Under the Surface’ allows children to explore life in a pond from frog’s point of view, and celebrates the diversity of wildlife living in London ponds. Over the course of the workshops children learn about the importance of pond biodiversity through fun filled talks, quizzes, games and videos. Then they put what they have learnt into action creating an amazing giant underwater themed exhibition, displaying their crafts.

The ‘Life under the Surface’ exhibition forms the centrepiece of the workshops. It becomes larger and more informative as successive school and family groups contribute their work to the display. By the end of the workshops the exhibition becomes a space which visitors can explore to discover more about the animals living in ponds.

To allow as many children to take part as possible, Dragon Finder run two different ‘Life Under the Surface’ workshops. One suitable for primary school groups and the other for families with young children.

School workshops: 

The Horniman MuseumSchool workshops typically last between 1 to 2 hours. Over the course of the session children learn about the importance of pond biodiversity through talks, quizzes, games and videos. Then they get crafty creating tadpoles, pond insects, a giant newt or even a grass snake out of craft materials! The models and drawings are used to create an amazing underwater themed exhibition to help people to learn more about the weird and wonderful animals living in British ponds. Suitable for key stages 1 and 2.

Check out our most recent session at Countryside Live!

The Horniman Museum

Family workshops:

Dragon Finder also run Life under the Surface workshops for family groups. These last up to half an hour and focus on just one or two of the weird and wonderful animals found in ponds. Suitable for ages 3 and up.


Where do we run the sessions?

We run the workshops in partnership with larger host organisations.


During 2015 we worked with:

  • Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park
  • Islington Ecology Centre
  • Countryside Live at Lee Valley Regional Park, Leyton

In 2014 we worked with:

  • Ray Park, Woodford Green
  • Vauxhall City Farm, Lambeth
  • Lee Valley Regional Park, Leyton

In 2013 we worked with:

  • Befords Park, Havering
  • London Wetland Centre, Barnes
  • Sutton Ecology Centre, Sutton
  • Horniman Museum, Forest Hill
 So far, we have engaged 3,255 children with amphibian and reptile conservation at 57 Life Under The Surface events across London!

Take a look at some pictures from previous events:

Islington Ecology Centre

Picture 1 of 15

Showcasing some creative skills