A PROJECT to record and celebrate invertebrates living in the uplands of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is launching a family bug tile hunt.

The North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Cold-blooded and Spineless project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has worked with the local community to create a collection of art tiles showing invertebrates in Weardale. Visitors and residents can now explore St John’s Chapel, spotting the tiles on buildings and identifying some of the special insects that live in the North Pennines.

In a series of craft workshops last year, children and residents worked with local artist Hannah Harbron to create clay ‘bug’ tiles which are now fixed to shops, the school and homes in the village. There is information about the tiles available in Chatterbox Café, which Hannah and her mum Claire run together. St John’s Chapel school pupils also worked on a unique leatherwork collage of invertebrates with Weardale artist Mark Rowney, which is also on display in the café.

Project officer Sam Tranter said: “Weardale is home to some of our remnant upland hay meadows, an important habitat for pollinators and other species that all contribute to the function of this special landscape.

“The tiles around St John’s Chapel and the collage in Chatterbox Café are a great way to inspire people to think more about the bugs and tiny beasties which are so important to our environment.”

Artist Hannah Harbron said: “The children enjoyed creating their own little pieces of art for the village.

"The bugs on the tiles are imaginative and beautiful, and they will form St John’s Chapel’s own celebration of invertebrates for years to come.”

The AONB Partnership has also created Bug Corner at the Durham Dales Centre nearby in Stanhope.