Ocean & Earth Day
Get hands-on and find out what exciting discoveries the UK’s world-class scientists are making in the oceans of the world! Each year the National Oceanography Centre opens its doors to the general public by hosting Ocean & Earth Day, an interactive and exciting family show, highlighting the fascinating research that we’re involved in from the coast to the deep ocean.
Keep visiting this page for the very latest news about the next Ocean & Earth Day (OED) along with links to further resources.
- What are the timings for the next OED?
- Why go to the show?
- Where are you?
- How do I get there?
- Is there a restaurant?
- What if I’m less able?
- What can I expect to see?
- Feedback Prize Draw
What are the timings for the next OED?
The date for Ocean & Earth Day 2015 has not been decided yet. Bookmark this page for the latest news. Whatever the date, it will be open from 10.30 – 16.00 (last entry 15.30) on the day.
Why go to the show?
The oceans are the key to the long-term health of our beautiful blue planet. They continue to surprise and amaze us as we visit this mysterious realm from the coast to miles below the surface. So little of the ocean has been explored that we encounter hundreds of new species every year, opening up new opportunities to understand this dynamic and fragile environment . Our geologists and geophysicists are unearthing the secrets of the Earth’s oceans and climate, and this is your golden opportunity to find out where and how your funding is contributing to our knowledge of the oceans.
Where are you?
How do I get there?
- Park & Ride for OED15 will be organised nearer the date
- By Bike
Turn the day into an adventurous terrestrial expedition by bike! We're very green and we provide lots of secure bike parking on site.
- By Bus
For 2015, you will be able to use our Ocean & Earth Day Park & Ride system (more details nearer the date), or make the day a fun adventure by linking up on the standard city-wide UniLink bus services (see network map and general timetable to plan your journey).
PLEASE NOTE: The Park & Ride buses will be free, but you will need to pay as usual for the standard scheduled buses and car parking.
- By Car
On-site parking is severely limited at the NOC. Several main car parks in town will be served by the Ocean & Earth Day Park & Ride service when organised. Or use the Ocean Village car parks where you will also be able to use the Park & Ride service. NOTE: the bus will be free, but you will need to pay for parking as usual. If you have less able passengers or very young children and need to park at the event venue, please point your Sat Nav to SO14 3ZH, make your way to Dock Gate 4 then follow the signs - staff will be on hand to direct you.
NOTE: if the venue car park is full, you will be politely asked to park elsewhere and walk in or use the standard Unilink bus service (see above).
Important! Visitors who walk, cycle or use public transport are entered into a free prize draw.
Is there a restaurant?
We have a great restaurant with superb views across the working docks and the Solent. Or you can escape the crowds, bring your own food and use our comfortable indoor picnic and rest area by the Reception entrance.
What if I’m less able?
The NOC is committed to providing full access to less able visitors. The show is on two floors with full wheelchair access. If you have any questions about access please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If the tide is particularly low, access to our coastal Research Vessel Callista may be limited.
Please visit the DisabledGo page for the Centre
What can I expect to see?
Each year our visitors leave us with beaming smiles and a greater understanding of the role of the oceans in our lives. In 2014 we welcomed more than 1,700 excited visitors who enjoyed and interacted with our many displays and presenters.
Visitors can see examples of the technology needed to explore at the edge of our ability, how we access the depths and hostile environments of the oceans and to learn more about the important role they play in the Earth’s climate. You can find out about the impact that humans have on these delicate ecosystems, and the challenges of exploring this often inhospitable environment and its geology through world leading research and engineering.
Visit our aquarium displays, take a close look at fossils and sea life, watch short informative talks and take part in a range of exciting hands-on activities highlighting the amazing work we do in the world's oceans. There is even a chance to visit a working research vessel – RV Callista. In 2014, visitors had a rare chance to see our Royal Research Ship Discovery, which was named by HRH the Princess Royal here at the NOC on 10 October 2013 .
Watch the video of the 2013 Ocean & Earth Day
Special displays at the 2014 Ocean & Earth Day:
- Static model displays
- Pyrite "gold" panning
- Fossil Casting
- Eurosites static display
- "Pechakucha" session
- Continental Margin Processes
- Rip Currents
- Submarine Slides
- Drilling to the mantle
- Earthquake Model
- Fossil Display - Evolution
- Satellite Quiz
- Ultra-thin rock sections
- Descent into the Icehouse
- Fossil Vertebrates
- Exploring the Oceans MOOC
- Aquarium display
- Exploring Radioactivity
- Viewing area for RRS Discovery if in dock
- Discovery displays and activities
- Photo elasticity
- Where in the World?
- Cartesian diver
- Ocean Gliders
- Weather in a tank
- Age of Fish
- Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology
Martin Palmer (Fire in Paradise)
Amanda Bates (Invertebrates from hydrothermal vents)
John Shepherd (Oceans and climate change)
Gareth Dyke (Dinosaurs in Southampton)
- And lots, lots more!
Feedback Prize Draw
We would love to hear from you about your visit to Ocean & Earth Day. Fill in our Contact form after your visit to be included in our Feedback Prize Draw!