Come and see the Creepy Crawl
Pupils from schools in County Durham and Northumberland have been mixing art and science to help create permanent art installations to mark a walking trail at one of the region’s best-loved tourist spots.
Marvellous Minibeast Mosaics
Secondary school students from Wolsingham Secondary School and younger children from Slaley First School have combined forces with staff from the North Pennines AONB Partnership to make two marvellous minibeast mosaics to greet visitors at Derwent Reservoir.
The work is part of the Partnership’s Cold-blooded and Spineless project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the site’s owners, Northumbrian Water Ltd.
Family Fun Day
The creative creepy crawly-inspired trail will be unveiled at family fun day taking place at the reservoir on August 19th. Parents and other visitors are being asked to turn up to help create a bejewelled bug to complete the final mosaic piece during the event. Local naturalist and Guardian Country Diarist, Phil Gates will open proceedings on the day with some inspiring words about his love for little creatures from the undergrowth.
Samantha Tranter, Cold-blooded and Spineless Officer with the AONB Partnership, said: “It’s been an amazing project to be part of. The students have been so committed and enthusiastic, which is why I think projects like this are so important.
“You can learn about bugs in the classroom but to combine biology with art really sparks imaginations and being part of something that they know is going to be on display to the public for years to come really gives them a sense of ownership. In ten years’ time they can visit the reservoir and say ‘I did that’ and hopefully, because they’ve enjoyed themselves so much, we might have created a few new naturalists, too.”
The project is now in its second year and its aim is to raise awareness about invertebrates, ranging from beetles and butterflies through to slugs and snails.
It is the successor to the Partnership’s Wildwatch project which galvanised hundreds of volunteers to go out into the North Pennines and record the wildlife they saw.
Sam said: “WildWatch was amazing, it really grabbed people’s attention but of course the animals we were looking at then were generally furry or feathery friendlies like squirrels or owls. With Cold-blooded and Spineless we were worried that the slithery nature of the animals might put people off but we needn’t have been. Our workshops to introduce people to different species have been a sell-out and we have hundreds of records coming in.”
The afternoon at Derwent Reservoir will celebrate insects and take place from 12pm-4pm. There will be bug face painting, wildlife walks, insect-inspired arts and crafts as well as the interactive artwork and the new trail. Pupils will be offering guided walks to the key installation points. An official welcome and a BBQ will be offered at Millshield Car Park from midday.
Released: 15 August 2016