Little ones face really big bugs

Creepy crawlies and scurrying spiders usually send children screaming for safety. But now pupils will learn to love insects as they come face to face with supersized sculptures of bugs and beetles on a new nature trail.

Creepy crawlies and scurrying spiders usually send children screaming for safety.

But now pupils will learn to love insects as they come face to face with supersized sculptures of bugs and beetles on a new nature trail.

Yesterday Pensthorpe nature reserve launched its bug walk, giving children the chance to explore and understand insects and their environment.

The trail, designed with six-year-olds in mind, brings visitors face-to-face with large scale versions of mini-beasts hidden in undergrowth, including a garden spider, butterfly, centipede, dragonflies and grasshoppers.

Children can study the animals in great detail, read panels about various creepy crawlies, and become a bug detective by answering questions to win prizes.

And pupils in year one at All Saints Stibbard Primary School officially opened the walk before being the first to try the trail.

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Teacher Anna Welsh said: “This is great for the children. When bugs are flying around it's difficult for them to identify and see the features close.

“Now they have the chance to get really close and see what they look like. They're outdoors and there is a lot to keep them entertained.

“They can see what the bugs do, eat and where. It opens up a whole new world for them.”

Pensthorpe commissioned local sculptor Tony Peusey to design and make the works of art, which features a spider hanging in a web between trees, in a bid to engage families in learning more about bugs.

Michael Haney, 5, said: “It's good. The giant spider was scary. It was really big. I didn't realise some of the bugs looked like that close up.”

The bug walk is open now. Pensthorpe nature reserve is on the A1067, one mile from Fakenham and is open all year, from April to December 10am to 5pm and January to March 10am to 4pm.

For more information contact 01328 851465 or visit www.pensthorpe.com.

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