Caterpillars in class at Glenfrome Primary

 An innovative project to reconnect inner-city kids with nature in Bristol looks set to benefit more than 5,000 children by the end of the year.

Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation (BC) is delivering its ‘Munching Caterpillars’ project to primary schools all over the city to teach children about butterflies and moths and how they can help pollinators thrive in an urban environment.

In the project’s first three months, more than 1,000 children aged seven to 11 have been involved in activities like planting pollinator-friendly flowers in their school grounds, rearing caterpillars and handling moths.

The project has also involved students from the University of the West of England (UWE).

Saint Werburghs schoolchildrenBC’s Munching Caterpillars Project Officer, Matthew Brierley, said: “Thanks to the amazing support of our student volunteers, we’ve been able to reach out to even more primary schools across the city, from St Werburghs to Bedminster.

“Not only do the students support me in the classroom by helping with the children, but a few are now going out to schools to deliver the project themselves – I couldn’t do it without them.

If the project is a success, BC hopes to expand it into other towns and cities across the country.

Matthew added: “If any local garden centres or nurseries have plants they are happy to donate to the project, we would be very grateful and could use these in our school visits with the children – just email me at mbrierley@butterfly-conservation.org.”

Planting for pollinators in Victoria ParkThe ‘Munching Caterpillars’ team will be at this year's Keynsham Festival of Nature, inviting families to get planting with them and to take a look at some live caterpillars and moths.

The free event on Sunday 18 June is taking place at Keynsham Memorial Park from 11am until 5pm and includes over 100 exhibitors, with wildlife-themed activities running all day.

To find out more about ‘Munching Caterpillars’ or to invite the team to your school, please visit www.munchingcaterpillars.org.

 

Thanks go to: 

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery provided nearly £16,000 of funding through the Postcode Local Trust for the Munching Caterpillars project, along with significant donations from the Ernest Cook Trust, BC’s Somerset and Bristol Branch and the Bristol Naturalists’ Society.