Excited children at a Richmond school got the chance see live bats up close, courtesy of the Holly Lodge Centre.

Youngsters from Clarendon School had an encounter with two Common Pipistrelles, last week.

The event took place on Bat Day, which was organised by the educational charity based in Richmond Park.

As the children arrived they were given their own bat capes so they could take an active role in story-time before experiencing nature trail.

All along the route, they hunted for artificial moths and woolly bats, which had been hand-made for the occasion by a local knitting group.

They could also open dipping boxes to see pictures, feel interesting textures and even listen to bats calling to each other.

At the end for the day, Centre Manager Anna King was delighted the children had enjoyed their visit so much.

“The children love coming here and we love having them. Being in Richmond Park, we can give everyone a really hands on experience of nature, science and history and we have some wonderful facilities and resources here, for all ages and abilities,” she said.

As a final gesture at the end of the day, the children were given tiny boxes filled with miniature bats as a leaving present.