Stratford Butterfly Farm is offering visitors the chance to get up close to an orb web spider without the use of safety of glass this half term.
The newest inhabitant at the farm’s Minibeast Metropolis, the orb web spider can be found suspended in a large hoop from the ceiling, the first time a spider has been displayed at the farm in this way. However, the spider is kept behind a protective barrier and will not leave her hoop.
Orb web spiders make classic wheel-shaped webs, often seen in gardens, fields and forests, consisting of concentric circles with spokes radiating out from the centre. The webs of sticky silk can measure up to a metre wide, offering plenty of space to trap hapless insects – and even birds and bats! The female of the species can grow up to 10cm in diameter, whereas the smaller males will only reach 2.5cm.
Twice daily ‘Meet the Mini-Beast’ handling sessions will also run during half term. Here visitors will be able to hold creatures such as a giant African millipede, African land snail and a variety of stick insects, assisted by a team member.
Visitors can also enjoy the stunning new pathways, inspired by tropical rainforests and designed by artist Madeline Smith. The smooth, level surfaces are wheelchair and buggy friendly and feature bright and colourful tropical leaf and animal footprints, including jaguar, tapir, squirrel monkey, parrot and Caiman crocodile.
To see hundreds of spectacular butterflies, insects, reptiles and spiders visit the Butterfly Farm from 10am to 5:00pm daily. For more information visit www.butterflyfarm.co.uk