Record numbers turn out for workshops exploring the work of Charles Darwin

A series of free children's workshops based around the work of the great British scientist Charles Darwin have attracted a record turn-out.

Organised by the University of Aberdeen's Natural History Centre, the Duthie Park sessions have proved a hit with youngsters from across the city and beyond.

Education Office Marie Fish said twice the numbers anticipated had turned up for the popular workshops, which this week have taken on a dinosaur theme.

She said: "On Monday we had 419 children take part – double what we had predicted – and by Tuesday that had swelled to an amazing 580 visitors. It made for a fantastic day and there is plenty of room at Duthie Park so we had no trouble accommodating all those who wanted to take part.

"There is still time for anyone who has not been down to join in the fun and each day is varied so even if you have been before, there will still be plenty on offer."

An action-packed day is on the cards today (Thursday, July 23) with science centre Satrosphere lined up to present their monster minibeasts from 2pm to 4pm.

For those with an interest in conserving the planet, Thursday will offer an opportunity to contribute to 'green fuel'. Visitors will be asked to eat a banana, donated by The Scottish Co-Operative, and the skins will be kept, blackened and used to make barbecue briquettes which will form part of the fun at next week's sessions.

The dinosaur exhibits, which include the skull of an Albertasaurus, the smaller cousin of the more famous Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Psittacosaurus and Protoceratops eggs, will remain on display until Friday.

Friday will also offer the final chance for youngsters to follow a trail through the winter gardens featuring plants that were around at the time of the dinosaurs, make dinosaur related crafts and pot up a prehistoric fern to take home with them.

But the fun will return next week with a new theme - Preventing Dodo Disasters - looking at endangered species and ways we can all help to protect our planet.