Bugs ‘r’ us – youngsters are at ease with their creature comforts

THERE was a new intake for a morning at Royton Hall Primary School and they quickly made friends with (most) of their new classmates.

The arrivals came from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean brought into class by a lady from Yorkshire.

And while the newcomers might even have sent shivers up campmates on ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, the Royton Hall youngsters took their presence in their stride.

Lisa Porter was guest of honour and her travelling companions included giant African land snails, giant green bean stick insects, giant spiny stick insects and even a few cockroaches.

Little surprise then that Lisa is known as the Bug Lady. And she introduced her ‘friends’ to fascinated and only occasionally hesitant youngsters.

During the ‘meet and greet’ experience pupils had chance to observe, hold and even stroke the creatures, none of whom were remotely dangerous or poisonous.

Explaining her work, Lisa said: “The bugs and I have been working together for around 10 years now.

“We were originally based within the Education Team at Harewood House Trust, Leeds providing school visits and outreach to local schools.

“In February 2012 I set up ‘The Bug Lady’.

“Before, I worked in a variety of roles including: primary school teacher, field teacher, outdoor and environmental education instructor.

“I have been lucky to work in lots of different settings both formally and informally and with all ages and abilities from nursery aged children to adults.

“My bug collection is varied and constantly changing and expanding.

“But one important consideration remains that all species are safe and friendly so myself and workshop participants can interact as much as possible.”

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