FAMILIES have been invited to a packed programme of free events at an east Durham beauty spot this summer.

A whole host of family activities has been planned at Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve, near Peterlee from Wednesday August 11 to Wednesday August 25.

There will be a chance to become a master of magic, meet The Gruffalo, hunt for hidden treasure, look for beautiful butterflies and marvellous moths, go batty, have a go at willow weaving - and much more.

All the activities are free but booking is essential and the events are already proving very popular with local people.

Christine Pope, Natural England Senior Reserves Manager, at Castle Eden Dene said: "We’re putting on a wonderful week of free activities during this year’s National Nature Reserve Fortnight at Castle Eden Dene and everyone’s invited to come along and join in the fun."

For more information about all the events at Castle Eden visit www.naturalengland.org.uk/regions/north_east or call 0191-518 2403.