Families are expected to flock to the Malmesbury area for the first Wild Sherston nature event this weekend.

Bat walks, snail racing, live animals, crafts, a ‘bat poo challenge’, photography and expert talks on wildlife are just some of the attractions planned throughout the three-day festival, beginning today.

Schoolchildren have also created a ‘legacy banner’ to which people who attend can add their oil print creations.

Wild Sherston is the brainchild of Geoff Carss who wanted to create an event to show people the natural spectacles they have on their doorstep.

Jo Egerton, a spokesman for the event, said: “There are lots of people in Sherston who are interested in nature and wildlife and he thought it would be a really good thing to make an event of it.

“He wanted to set something up in an interesting way to make sure kids start getting involved in what is going on, in effect, on our doorstep.

“It’s quite educationally focused to help them identify different flowers, bats and wildlife and to teach them what do to if they find an injured animal.”

TV presenter and RSPB president Miranda Krestovnikoff and BBC science correspondent Kelvin Boot are among those who will give talks at the event.

Mr Boot, who is also the former director of the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, will open the inaugural weekend with a presentation tioday at 7.30pm in the village hall. Entry is £5.

Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre, Darcey the Owl and The Wiltshire Butterfly Conservation will also attend.

For families there will be face painting, numerous walks, clay crafts and wildlife observation.

For more details or to book tickets for talks visit Sherston Post Office or email wildsherston@outlook.com