Cumberland House on longlist for award

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THE natural history museum in Southsea has been longlisted for a prestigious award.

Cumberland House is among the country’s top 20 museums in line for the Family Friendly Museum Awards, organised by the charity Kids in Museums and a national newspaper.

One of the highlights of the free museum is the butterfly house that has a variety of butterflies and the cocoons they emerge from – a great way of bringing Eric Carle’s popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar story to life.

The museum tells the story of wildlife at the riverbank, marshes, woods and urban areas of Portsmouth.

Dr Jane Mee, the city’s museums and records service manager, said: ‘We are delighted that Cumberland House has been named in the top 20.

‘It’s popular with families, particularly those with younger children, who particularly enjoy the butterfly house, the ice-age display and individual specimens – like Emily the dinosaur.

‘This year we have improved access at the entrance and added a fully accessible toilet and a buggy park, which has helped to ease congestion.

‘Fingers crossed we make the shortlist.’

The shortlist will be announced in April and, after anonymous inspections by families, a winner will be chosen in May.