Residents of Weardale in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark are invited to the launch of a new garden and activity trail to celebrate invertebrates.
The North Pennines AONB Partnership has created ‘Bug Corner’ at the Durham Dales Centre in Stanhope, and will be holding a community event for the official opening on Saturday 22 September, from 12 noon to 3pm. There will be an afternoon of mini-beast themed family activities, including ‘Six Legs’ an interactive insect theatre show performed by Cap-A-Pie, bug-inspired craft activities using leather and clay, bug hunts in the Durham Dales Centre gardens and a visit to Ashes Quarry with Butterfly Conservation’s Dr Dave Wainwright and the Weardale Wildlife Group. Bring a picnic and join in the bug high tea.
Pupils from Weardale Schools have worked with the project over the past few months to create art installations for Bug Corner to help visitors to learn about and love creepy crawlies. The North Pennines AONB Partnership has also commissioned Durham artist, Graeme Hopper, to create a large showcase sculpture to start the trail and this will be unveiled at the community event.
Bug Corner is part of the AONB Partnership’s Cold-blooded and Spineless project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and made possible by National Lottery players. Cold-blooded and Spineless focuses on recording and raising awareness of the many important species of invertebrates in the North Pennines, and the role they play in the ecosystem. Additional funding for the Weardale community activities has been provided by Arts Council England and Northumbrian Water.
Sam Tranter, Project Officer at the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “Bug Corner will be a fantastic place to go to find out more about the tiny creatures that play a big part in our ecosystem. The launch event will be the first chance to see the amazing sculpture and take part in the trail activities, but we hope that families will enjoy Bug Corner whenever they visit the Durham Dales Centre.
“What is lovely to see is the range of artwork produced by children from up and down the dale, alongside the eye-catching sculpture.”
Artist Graeme Hopper said: “The sculpture is inspired by drawings by Weardale school pupils. Working with the children I have incorporated their ideas and also made the insect as anatomically correct as possible.
“The resulting sculpture is really striking and I’m sure will draw people in to the garden.”
The sculpture will sit in a mini wildflower meadow, planted with plug plants grown from seeds collected in local Weardale verges as part of another Heritage Lottery Fund project, Plugging the Gaps. This will help to increase the number of nectar-rich plant in the area and attract pollinating insects to the area.
Places for the community launch event are free but please book a place online at http://www.northpennines.org.uk/events-calendar/bugcornerlaunch/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org