By Sarah Kelleher, Education Manager at Wilderness Wood.
Chloe came into work one day recently with a big crate full of green stuff. Turned out to contain lots of hawthorn and willow leaves, and on the leaves, the most enormous green caterpillars! They are Emperor moth caterpillars, the only silk spinning caterpillar found in Britain.
Chloe went away and asked if my daughter Daisy and I could look after them for a few days. Daisy was so pleased, and so sorry to see them go that Chloe's given us two to keep.
Their presence has provoked some interesting questions and observations from Daisy, ("How does the silk get in their bottoms?" and "Look, they don't mind climbing over one another") and now the whole house is looking forward to watching them pupate (any day now, it seems).
Thoroughly recommended as a temporary pet, teaching the need to feed and clean them. But beware - they get through mountains of