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Creepy crawlies and crafts keep kids happy over February half term

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 February 2016

Children greet a tortoise during a reptile show by Jurassic Encounters at Ipswich Museum.

Children greet a tortoise during a reptile show by Jurassic Encounters at Ipswich Museum.

Youngsters across Ipswich have braved the wintry weather this week to take part in a host of fully-booked activities from bird-box building to animal invasions.

On Tuesday, families in Holywells Park wrapped up warm to build their very own bird boxes, with the help of staff from Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

As part of the morning, the children were able to craft their own bird boxes, bird feeders and learn about bird habitats.

Susannah O’Riordan, Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s education ranger in Ipswich, said: “It’s national Nest Box Week so it’s a good time to promote bird box building.

“They all seemed really happy, and we have had a packed week with Bonkers about bones Kiln Meadow and we have young wardens on Friday.”

On Wednesday enthusiastic pupils channelled their inner Robin Hood as they underwent a masterclass in archery at Northgate Sports Centre, before meeting some scaly beasts with the reptile animal invasion at Ipswich Museum.

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “The archery is so popular – even most of our term time archery sessions on a Sunday are fully booked, apart from a handful of spaces at 9am.

“Meanwhile hundreds have gathered for a chance to get a close-up glimpse of various animals, with mammals making the visit to Ipswich Museum on Monday, before reptiles took over yesterday and a mini beasts showcase on Friday.

“We had a great time showing them around and discussing conservation, and letting them develop their knowledge at first hand in a fun, yet serious, environment.”

Thursday featured family fun as youngsters made a splash at Crown Pools, and put their art skills to the test with a design your own china challenge at Christchurch Mansion.

For those who missed it on Tuesday, Chantry Park hosted a bird box build, while creepy crawlies invaded the museum.

The week concluded with young warden opportunities in Holywells Park.

Many of the events organised by Ipswich Borough Council across their parks and museums are fully booked, to the delight of senior councillors.

Deputy leader Bryony Rudkin said: “It proves when faced with a range of exciting and fun activities, children are happy to leave the game console and TV behind.”

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