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Learn about insects at special event

Posted 29 June 2015

Charlotte Rowley, Joe Roberts, Aidan Thomas and Fran Sconce prepare for the event

Bug enthusiasts of all ages are invited to learn about insects at a special weekend event supported by staff and students from Harper Adams University.

Entomologists from the university in Shropshire will be sharing their expertise during the ‘Minibeasts Adventure’ at the Dorothy Clive Garden near Market Drayton on July 11 and 12.

Through touring the garden, visitors will be able to learn about soil dwelling insects and ways to eradicate pests without chemicals, identify different types of bees, take part in pond dipping and learn easy ways to collect insects by making simple traps.

Postgraduate research student, Fran Sconce, is currently investigating how farming affects soil-dwelling insects and other invertebrates, and will be leading the team from Harper Adams.

She said: “As the only UK institution to teach general entomology at postgraduate level, Harper Adams thrives on outreach activities to inform children about the wonders of insects, and how an enthusiasm for them can lead to exciting and varied careers.

“We are delighted to have been asked to volunteer again at the Dorothy Clive Garden and hope to build on the great success of last year’s event.”

As well as activities, the event welcomes John Moran from the Honey Bee Project, animation expert Melody Smith, and The Royal Entomological Society's Director of Outreach, Luke Tilley.

MSc Integrated Pest Management student, 22-year-old Aidan Thomas from Newbury, said: “Insects play a significant role in our ecosystem and this event should prove a fun way to find out more.

“By helping children to understand the role of insects, we could potentially be inspiring the entomologists of the future and this is extremely important given the current shortage of expertise in the subject.”

The Dorothy Clive Garden is an independent 12-acre charitable garden trust located on the three county borders of Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire.

Admission to the event is just £3.50 for adults and £2 for children. Open 11am-4pm.

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