A FORMER Blue Peter presenter met tarantulas and snakes plus Easter chicks as she officially opened a country store.

Helen Skelton, who kayaked 2,010miles along the River Amazon in 2010 for Sport Relief, headed to the Mole Valley Farmers Country Store at Piercebridge, near Darlington.

The Cock Lane store has been rebranded after Mole Valley Farmers aquired agricultural supply company early last year and the television star officially opened the rebranded store on Saturday. (April 19)

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Rachel Sutton, store manager, said: “She is a Cumbrian girl who has farming links to her area as she grew up on a dairy farm so she seemed to be the obvious choice.

“She cut the ribbon for us and the store is now fully open for business.”

There was a pets’ corner featuring tarantulas, snakes, skunks and tortoises plus face painting, Easter chicks and a hunt the mole activity.

Members of the Great North Air Ambulance and Durham Police were also present with bike and tackle marking taking place.