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PROJECTS past and present

NEW for 2021 - THE FLUTTER

See The Gallery for photos - scroll down for the butterflies!

Since all plans for outings for Wildlife Roleplay over the spring and summer 2020 were cancelled due to Covid 19, I spent Lockdown making butterflies, hoping one day to be able to use them in an interactive way.

I have built up a collection of 29 different British species (and one spectacular moth)and they are available with or without their presentation arch for displays until normal activities can be resumed. An ID quiz can accompany them if required.

My new butterflies are out and about in the Presteigne area and hope to visit more locations over the next few months.

Please get in touch if you would like a visit from them - very reasonable rates at present to get them out into society.

The species on offer are:

Nymphalidae: Small tortoiseshell; Peacock; Comma; Red Admiral; Painted Lady; Silver washed fritillary; Purple Emperor

Satyrinae (The Browns): Speckled Wood;Gatekeeper; Grayling; Meadow Brown; Ringlet; Small Heath

Lycaenidae: Common blue (male and female); Holly Blue (male and female); Small Copper; Large Blue; Purple Hairstreak; Brown Hairstreak; Green Hairstreak

Hesperidae (Skippers): Small skipper ; Large skipper; Dingy skipper; Grizzled skipper

Riodinidae: Duke of Burgundy

Pieridae: Brimstone; Wood white; Orange tip; Clouded Yellow

Hawthorn tree

Looking back

The Hawthorn menagerie worked with the "Beetles,Bees and Trees" project in Clun Shropshire January to March 2019, involving Year 5 and 6 children from St.Georges Primary School and the residents of Haselhurst and Trinity. This was a project funded by Shropshire Housing Group.

Assorted insects visited youth club sessions run by Marches Family Network in Hereford and Leominster.

In February Kington Library group hosted a morning of "Let's Hear it for Hawthorn" - open to all in the library.

WOOD festival Oxfordshire - 17th-19th May - Hawthorn was there!

6th July - Meet the Pollinators - a return visit to Compton Verney for National Meadows Day.

Also in July - Rhosgoch (Powys) Garden Society meeting had great fun hosting the Pollinators and THE BIRDS appeared for the Woodland Trust at "Folk by the Oak" at Hatfield House.

From August onwards the four giant beetles are now "working" for Tim Kaye of CLan (Cultivating Learning and Nature) info@clan-cic.org

May- September selected members of the menagerie were on display at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery.

Events 3

Bee and Blossom

A FEW PROJECTS FROM THE ARCHIVES.......Bring on the Bees Spring/Summer2013

“Bring on the Bees” was an education project funded by the Forest Education Initiative Partnership Fund which aimed to raise awareness of:

•    The  importance of bees and their role in pollination

•    The relationship of bees with trees

•    The wonders of bee behaviour

•    How to encourage and support bees

Eight primary schools in Radnorshire received and planted a "family" apple tree (each one will hopefully produce 3 varieties of apple). Some of these were donated by the Marcher Apple Network.

This was followed by a Pollination Day which featured "Treehats" representing insect pollinated trees, interactive sessions using bee models for scripted interviews and making mason bee homes. Finally each school had a visit from a member of Brecon and Radnor Beekeepers Association which involved a short talk about beekeeping, a display of live bees and equipment, honey tasting and the opportunity to try on child-sized beesuits.


Bring on the Bees helped teachers to tick boxes in the National Curriculum for Literacy (speaking and listening; roleplay; both factual and creative writing)  and for Science (Life processes/Lifecycles; living things; Ecosystems; Foodchains; Investigative skills).


 “The content and approach fits in well with eco-schools and the science curriculum”. (Knighton class teacher)

 “Bees day complemented our topic work on plant growth and pollination. ........ Subsequent work the children have produced has shown that they have gained a good understanding of pollination and the role of bees”..... “The Bee Job Centre role play was a great way to explain the different tasks that bees perform both in and out of the hive. It obviously made an impact as the children used a lot of this information when writing their dialogues between bees. They have taken on board the information about the red mason bee and have discussed how we can help by providing suitable habitats for them and other foraging bees”.

(Class teacher Llanelwedd)

 “The children learnt a lot about bees, had lots of opportunities to ask questions but importantly had a lot of fun”.(Classteacher Trefonnen Llandrindod Wells)

Stiperstones 3 Honeybees

Minsterley Burying beetle

2011-12 Beetles and Bees

A project funded 75% by the Sustainable Development Fund of The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership (www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk)

Eight Primary schools in the Shropshire Hills AONB each received a week long loan package of beetles and bees, together with all their associated learning resources.

The project aimed to raise awareness of:

  • the vital importance of beneficial insects to ecology and our survival on the planet,  focusing on “garden good guys”: pollinating insects (especially bees); natural pest control (ladybirds and ground  beetles) and recycling insects (dung beetle and burying beetle)
  • the wonders of beetle and bee behaviour
  • ways to encourage beneficial insects.


“The project gave the children an insight into the how the beetles are an essential part of the countryside and how even though they are tiny they have massive roles to play in the environment.”
(Classteacher Pontesbury Shropshire)

“The children could see in more detail various features of the creatures due to them being enlarged. The interviews were exciting and introduced some of the children to new vocabulary e.g. pesticides. The activities were fun and children were eager to learn more. This was such a dynamic and interesting way of teaching the children about beetles and bees.

I have really enjoyed using the resources and they were easy to follow and teach to the children. The children also have loved the resources and learning about beetles and bees. The packs of information were fantastic.”
(Classteacher Clunbury Shropshire) 

“Use of the resources led to discussion about organic farming and food chains.”
(Headteacher Brown Clee Shropshire)

Honeybee Jobcentre

Presteigne Food Festival 2012

The Honeybee Jobcentre was brought to Wentes Meadow Presteigne, where a number of participating honeybees - 6 workers, 1 queen and 1 drone - were successful in finding employment

Job vacancies filled included the posts of egglayer, builder, forager, nurse and security guard.

Sally with insects

Dungbeetle interview

FEI GB Celebration and Networking day Mabie House Hotel Dumfries Wednesday May 9th 2012

The beetles and bees made their first trip to Scotland to deliver a very successful workshop for members and staff of the Forest Education Initiative.

Participants interviewed a dung beetle, made their own model beetles and were inspired to go away and practice their newfound skills in insect interviewing techniques.

Nantmel school with beetles

Gladestry beetles

2009-10 Hidden Depths

A project funded jointly by The Sidney Nolan Trust (www.sidneynolantrust.org) and The Forest Education Initiative Partnership Fund (www.foresteducation.org) which involved “Beetle Outreach Days” in 8 Radnorshire Primary schools


“Being able to ask a beetle questions brought the learning alive…….great opportunities for oracy, communication and thinking skills, as well as scientific discovery. The workshop complemented our fieldwork and raised awareness of environmental issues.”
(Headteacher Gladestry Powys)

”The beetles were big, realistic and so visual- all were stimulated. Language work developed through the sessions”.
(Classteacher Knighton Powys)

“I have spent ages in my garden looking for beetles since the workshop”.

“Really interesting and fantastic fun”.
(Pupils from Powys schools)

Minsterley Primary school ladybirds

Stiperstones Primary school with bees

2009-11 Caring for Godís Acre


CFGA funded a series of days in 2 Herefordshire (Weobley and Lea) and 4 Shropshire (Clun, Lydbury North, Bishops Castle and Rushbury)  Primary Schools focusing on exploring trees and insect wildlife in village churchyards.

As well as  interviewing beetles and doing the ladybird spothunt the children learnt about the trees in the churchyards. This involved using a unique set of Treehats to role play and get to know the trees, another role play featuring the parts of a Cherry tree and the "Build a Tree " activity from  "Sharing Nature with Children" by Joseph Cornell. For more information and availability on these tree-based activities contact Beetlesandbees.

"Very good, structured learning. Accessible to children."  (class teacher Bishops Castle)


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