Children from all over Wales entered the hidden world of our woodlands as they engaged in a variety of events to celebrate Insect Week.
Pupils from primary and secondary schools took part in bug hunts and bug safaris that lifted the lid on the teeming life of our woodlands that visitors often miss.
They also indulged in role play dressed as giant bugs, camouflage activities and built “bug hotels” for forest insects, with the help of Forestry Commission Wales’s Woodlands for Learning team members.
Education Officer Sheena O’Leary said Insect Week was the perfect excuse to encourage children and young people to gain hands on experience of the mini wildlife that inhabit Welsh woodlands.
“It was a great opportunity for children to learn all about the exciting life that is going on right beneath their feet,” said Sheena.
“The thousands of plants and trees that grow in woodlands make them the perfect home for so many species of insects. Insects exploit every layer of the woods, from the leaf litter on the floor, to the inside of a tree trunk, to high up in the tallest canopy to live their lives.
“And food is abundant, with lots of places to hide from other creatures who might want to make a meal of you!”
Other sessions consisted of looking at the inter-dependence of mini beasts in the woodland ecosystem and how biodiversity changes the woodland landscape.
Children were given fun facts to help them understand the differences between insects and other mini beasts, such as arachnids, and had the opportunity to investigate pond life as well as their land-locked cousins.
Sheena added, “All the events were linked to the education curriculum, covering many areas of learning including maths and science but, with so much fun on offer, it certainly didn’t seem like school work.”
Caption: Children from Cradoc Primary School in Brecon, Powys investigate a pond at the Forestry Commission Wales centre at Garwnant, near Merhtyr Tydfil.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A total of 14.3% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland-based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email firstname.lastname@example.org