Interactive events for National Insect Week

Peacock butterfly SUS-141106-133455001
Peacock butterfly SUS-141106-133455001

Over ten interactive insect events are being staged throughout West Sussex this month, as part of celebrations taking place nationwide for National Insect Week which runs from 23-29 June 2014.

The week kicks off on Monday June 23 with a butterfly identification workshop at Tuppenny Barn in Southbourne from 10.30am – 1pm (contact Michael Blencowe on 07884 484698 for more details).

Later that day is an Evening Wildlife Walk at Southwater Country Park from 7pm – 9pm. The walk covers a meadow, woodland, stream and lake all rich in wildlife, especially damselflies and butterflies. Contact event organiser Roger Patterson for more details on 01403 790637.

Throughout the week, Central Sussex Beekeepers Association are setting up camp at Newbridge Garden Centre in Horsham for daily activities. There will be a beekeeping display surrounded by nectar / pollen plants and a demonstration of the unique beeless observation hive, plus craft and drawing activities for kids. Contact Melvyn Essen on 07811 070294 for more details.

The following weekend is a hive of activity in West Sussex! WWT Arundel Wetland Centre is staging an Incredible Insect Weekend on 28 and 29 June with sessions during the day including pond dipping, creepy crawly crafts, and a wetlands discovery boat safari. Normal admission prices apply and sessions run from 11am – 4pm.

Butterfly Conservation Sussex is leading a 4km walk on Saturday 28 June at Iping, searching for the Silver-studded Blue, Common Heath moth and other insects. Contact Colin Knight on 07704 830104 for more details.

And Warnham Local Nature Reserve is running a Creepy Crawly Day on Sunday 29 June with a minibeast hunt, pond dipping, insect crafts, and a Creepy Crawly Trail.

Admission is £3 for children and the event runs from 10am – 4pm. Call Linda Slattery on 07812 716085 for more details.

To see all NIW 2014 events taking place in West Sussex, visit www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk/events/ and click ‘West Sussex’ on the UK map.

Now in its sixth year and organised by the Royal Entomological Society, the week will see scores of events held across the UK, from bug hunts and bioblitzes to minibeast safaris and moth walks.

National Insect Week is a biennial initiative to promote awareness of the value of a diverse insect world to the environment and is supported by more than 50 national partner organisations concerned about natural history and biodiversity.

An interactive website www.nationalinsectweek.co.uk gives visitors all the information they need to get involved, from finding out about events taking place in their area to a photography competition and advice on bringing more British insects into our gardens.

Royal Entomological Society Director of Outreach, Luke Tilley said: “Insects may be small, but they have a huge impact on the natural world. There are a wide range of activities being staged during National Insect Week by local and regional wildlife organisations which will enable children and adults alike to explore the wonderful world of insects for themselves.”

Report and picture contributed by Jane Chamberlain.