About Munching Caterpillars

Munching Caterpillars Highlights

The Project

The Munching Caterpillars Project ran from 2012 until 2015. Its aim was simple: introduce children to the beautiful and fascinating world of butterflies, moths and their caterpillars. It was a hands on project that was great fun for all those taking part. For some, we hoped it might have been the first spark that begins a lifetime of interest and enjoyment, providing the next generation of naturalists, volunteers and conservationists.

Three Project Officers, (Kate Merry, Catherine Mason and Megan Lowe) visited primary schools, community groups, events and festivals with their unique interactive workshops. Nothing hi-tech, these workshops were all about giving children some close encounters with live specimens, getting outside and getting grubby. An important feature of the project was about providing food and nectar plants for butterflies, moths and their caterpillars too. Our mission was to create ‘Caterpillar Munchboxes’ and ‘Butterfly Fuel Stations’ in school grounds, gardens and green spaces throughout the project area (Dorset & Somerset).

A key part of our project was our programme of training workshops. They were aimed at teachers, environmental educators, volunteers, and anyone else who has a passion for butterflies and moths and the desire to share it with young people. Participants learned about butterfly and moth ecology, identification, how to hunt for caterpillars and the delivery of Munching Caterpillars activities and workshops.


What did we achieve?

The Project was a huge success, exceeding our targets and expectations every year. We delivered 233 Primary School Workshops, took 19 groups of children out on to our reserves, attended 99 public and community events and delivered 16 training workshops.

In total, we reached approximately 14,000 children!


What happens next?

The Project may have ended but the successes, lessons learned and ideas developed over its course are widely applicable and suitable for replication in other parts of the UK. We look forward to watching the Munching Caterpillars Project grow and develop and hope that we will continue to educate and inspire many more children and their families!

This website will remain live, so please make full use of all our fabulous resources and keep sending us your questions and pictures! We will also update the site with news of up and coming developments so… watch this space!



Meet the Team...


Kate Merry (Senior Education Officer)

I grew up in the suburbs of London but trips to the local park with my Dad were all it took to get me hooked on wildlife. I was always conducting some sort of scientific study in my jam jar laboratory... Now I am lucky enough to live on the Somerset Levels, and the jam jars are no longer needed because it’s all right outside my front door! My all time favourite moth is the Lappet. It looks just like a cluster of dried oak leaves - beautiful. I had one in my moth trap one morning and took about a hundred photos! Here is one of them: Kate's caterpillar
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