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Learning about insects & bugs at Hilfield Friary 7.6.23

We had such a lovely time learning more about insects and minibeasts with Richard and Chantelle at Hilfield today!
After the excitement of travelling by minibus (and coming down the big hill!) we played some games running around in the garden area and moving like different insects. We especially loved buzzing like bees and flapping our wings as dragonflies and butterflies.
We then went to look inside the moth trap that Richard had set overnight. It was a large box, filled with empty egg cartons. On the lid was a large bulb that had been shining brightly overnight to tempt the moths inside. Richard gently lifted out each box to reveal many exciting moths! The boxes were passed around so we could have a closer look and there was an opportunity to hold some on our hands too. In the trap there was a large poplar hawk-moth, privet hawk-moth, a buff-tip moth (which cleverly disguises itself as a stick!) peppered moths and many more!
We then had a drink and snack before splitting into groups for the next activities. Giants worked on some bee and ladybird clay crafts, using coloured pebbles to recreate patterns using identification pictures. We also created some butterfly print paintings with paint and string which was lots of fun! Meanwhile the Ducklings went off on a bug hunt in the garden. Richard had nets and sheets to collect and gather insects and bugs so we could use our 'pooters' to suck and catch the insects in pots without harming them. This was very exciting! We found caterpillars, spiders, beetles and even damselflies!
The groups then swapped over so the Giants could go bug hunting in the wildflower meadows while the Ducklings had a go at the clay craft. Out in the meadows the Giants found all sorts of insects, which Richard was fantastic at identifying! We spotted shield bugs, cucumber spiders, weevils, aphids, ladybird larvae, dock beetle larvae and many many more! Richard explained that 'true bugs' are insects that have sucking mouths, like we were sucking using the pooters! He also told us that butterflies like stinging nettles so will be looking out carefully on our next welly walk!
After a busy morning we tucked into our packed lunches and cooled off in the courtyard. We even got to help feed the sheep before it was time to head back on the buses to school.

Thank you to everyone who came to help. We had a lovely time! I'm sure everyone will sleep well tonight!

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