What we do

Community arts and science

Cold-blooded and Spineless community

2019 was the final year of community events for Cold-blooded and Spineless and launched with two special family shows of ‘Six Legs’ an interactive and original theatre show for 4-7 year olds at the TCR Hub in Barnard Castle. The show was adapted to include special invertebrates of the North Pennines and was followed by a bug hunt in the grounds of the Hub.

An art exhibition celebrating the best of professional and amateur impressions of the mystical invertebrate kingdom of the North Pennines was held in September at Bowlees Visitor Centre and there was a final celebration of the project’s achievements with a special Bug Ball.

Arts and science

As part of the project, the North Pennines AONB Partnership delivered over forty arts and science education sessions working with fifteen schools and reaching 680 children. These activities shared the value of invertebrates and highlighted those found in upland habitats. Each year an art installation and trail was created to help communities share this learning with local people and visitors. Download The Great North Pennines Bug Hunt leaflet.

In 2018 Cap a Pie theatre company brought their ‘Six Legs’ show to schools in Weardale, uncovering the wonderful world of invertebrates. Schools taking part helped create a mini beast trail called Bug Corner at the Durham Dales Centre. You can now enjoy the trail and see the impressive iron work grasshopper sculpture created by Durham artist G Hopper!

Watch the fantastic film of our community work in Allenheads in 2017, showing the experiences of the school children and artists involved in creating the wonderful trail.

Derwent Reservoir was our focus for 2016. We invited Slaley First and Wolsingham Secondary Schools to discover the invertebrate world in and around the reservoir. They created mosaic features as part of the creepy crawl trail.

In 2015 we worked with pupils from Teesdale Comprehensive and artist Peter Graham, the programme culminated in the installation of four beautiful stone sculptures within the drystone walls alongside the River Tees at Low Force. The sculptures depict the adult and juvenile stages of the mayfly and stonefly, both important and characteristic invertebrates of upland rivers like the Tees. Why not take a walk along the Pennine Way upstream of Low Force to see if you can find them? There are also slate slabs in place at Bowlees Vistor Centre, from where you can start your adventure.

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