Now in its second summer, Matt Brierley's latest email conveys the fun everyone, not least Matt himself, gets from the project....
July was a fantastic month for Munching Caterpillars. As well as our usual forays into urban schools, we spread our wings and met 100 primary school kids from three Somerset Primary schools at Burrington Combe's annual education day, generating some amazing fan mail from Blagdon Primary School. Lucy from Year 3 told us: "My favourite was the six spot burnet and the elephant hawk moth, Alex's favourite was the silver y moth. Thanks again, enjoy reading this letter." Lily and Niamh observed: "We never knew there were so many butterflies you could see on Mendip...", whereas Ben and Wendy commented: "We enjoyed the Empire moth because it sounds amazing." We agree, it sounds superb. It was in fact a dead Giant Emperor moth but if it shows any sign of striking back we'll tell George Lucas immediately.
Other highlights have included kids finding a privet hawkmoth caterpillar whilst bug hunting at Windmill Hill City Farm, seeing our now-grown plug plants thriving & smothered with butterflies in Lawrence Weston - where we are working with both children and vulnerable adults - and discovering Key Stage 1 children in Worle have done a whole project about caterpillars thanks to our planting in Spring. They've reared painted lady butterflies in the classroom and their project's crescendo was a show and tell from us, including cinnabar moth caterpillars and a beautiful poplar hawkmoth.
We are very keen to continue the project in the long term and we hope to recruit a volunteer with the time and skills to steer it, working with support from BC's Senior Education Officer and the Branch Committee. More information will follow soon.