Children across Scotland’s towns and cities will benefit from a new £57,000 lottery funded wildlife education project, "Munching caterpillars."

The project will encourage primary school children to get out of the classroom and experience at first hand the fascinating world of caterpillars, butterflies and moths and their important role as pollinators.

Set up by wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation, the aim is to encourage children to connect with nature

The project will run for two years, thanks to more than £57,000 funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and other supporters.

Pupils will take part in bug hunts and butterfly surveys in their school grounds, planting areas to provide food for caterpillars and nectar for butterflies and moths and learning about their life cycles.

This year 14 schools will be targeted across the Central Belt - including areas in Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Glasgow.

Next year another 16 schools will be involved in the project and it will reach into other cities like Edinburgh.

Butterfly Conservation project officer Polly Phillpot said: “We’re targeting schools mainly in urban areas as these children generally experience less wildlife – one little boy told me he’d never seen a butterfly before.

“One of the schools involved actually created a green space for wildlife next to their playground. We helped the kids plant here and they can now do more outdoor lessons and activities in future.

“Being outside and enjoying nature is really beneficial to our mental well-being, but it’s also crucial to reconnect the younger generations with the natural world, because ultimately they are the wildlife guardians of the future.”

The Munching Caterpillars team will also be visiting public events across Scotland, such as gardening shows and community wildlife days, providing families with resources and activity ideas to do at home.

Free training days will also be held for teachers and leaders of local youth groups who are interested in carrying on the work of Munching Caterpillars Scotland.