Kate Middleton chatted with a group of children as they made toy spiders at the Natural History Museum’s wildlife garden (Image: Russell Myers)

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Kate Middleton beamed with joy as she joined a group of children to make toy spiders at the Natural History Museum's wildlife garden today.

The Duchess of Cambridge chatted and laughed with the youngsters one day after celebrating husband William's 39th birthday with their children.

Her visit to the Natural History Museum this afternoon is part of an effort to encourage people to reconnect with nature and help come up with ways to protect the planet's future.

The Duchess of Cambridge heard more about how communities across the UK will benefit from the museum’s Urban Nature Project which is being launched later this year.

The Urban Nature Project aims to help people to reconnect with the natural world and to find practical solutions to protect our planet’s future.

The Duchess of Cambridge made toy spiders with children today
(Image: Russell Myers)

Working with partner museums and wildlife organisations across the UK, the project will engage the nation with the importance of nature in towns and cities, and produce practical tools for supporting the wildlife that lives around us.

The Duchess heard more about the plans for the project and the work that is being carried out to transform the Natural History Museum gardens into a cutting-edge research centre, which will include outdoor classrooms and a living lab, to deliver science and learning programmes for young people, schools and families across the country.

Her Royal Highness also visited the Museum’s Wildlife Garden and joined local schoolchildren taking part in nature activities, including spider-making and an interactive story-telling exercise.

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most visited natural history museum in Europe.

The Museum works to use its global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet – to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature.

At the end of her visit, The Duchess fixed an acoustic monitoring device to a cherry tree in the Wildlife Garden, which will record ambient sound to help Museum scientists to investigate patterns of bird, mammal and insect activity within the garden.

Data collected by the device, which will stay onsite throughout the summer, will be analysed used as part of the UNP National Schools Programme which launches in September.

As part of her longstanding work on early childhood, The Duchess of Cambridge believes that spending time outdoors plays a pivotal role in children’s future health and happiness, building foundations that last through childhood and over a lifetime.

Through her Back to Nature gardens, which were displayed in 2019 at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, and the subsequent installation of the Back to Nature play garden at RHS Wisley, Her Royal Highness aimed to highlight how spending time outdoors can enrich a child’s early development by providing an environment that encourages active exploration and the opportunity to form and strengthen positive relationships.

Last week, The Duchess launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood which also published its inaugural report, Big Change Starts Small. It brings together leading sector research in one place and underlines the critical lifelong impact of the early years on individuals, our economy and society at large.

The report also set forth a number of recommendations, including the need for society as a whole to come together to create safe, healthy and nurturing environments and experiences for children, including the provision of easy access to nature and outdoor space.