The science of spiders webs, the growth of trees and a study of the nature were among the subjects that primary school pupils from around Wantage and surrounding villages explored with a team of local scientists in a new 'science trail' at the town's Betjeman Millennium Park.

The pilot venture last Wednesday was dreamt up by Betjeman park trustees and staff from the the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell, and aimed to get youngsters engaged with science.

Also helping the organisation was the 'transition' team from King Alfred's Academy in Wantage, who help primary pupils make the jump up to secondary.

Betjeman park chair of trustees John Vandore said the children had been absorbed in their scientific studies and said he hoped the day out could become a regular event.

He went on: "I can’t speak highly enough of the thoroughly professional way Sophy Palmer (from Rutherford Appleton) and her team planned the event with such imagination and the preparation they put into it – with the resulting pleasure of seeing the schoolchildren so absorbed – and Betjeman park put to such brilliant use.

"I can’t thank everyone enough. We have been working for some years now with King Alfred’s on an 'Art in the Park' event – now it’s the turn of the scientists.

"I really hope this becomes a regular event."

Ms Palmer, public engagement officer at Rutherford Appleton, added: "We’re really excited to be working with Betjeman park and King Alfred’s Academy on this event.

"It’s a great way to introduce children to the science we do at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and of demonstrating how our work is related to the world around them."

Jackie Munns, teaching assistant at St James CofE Primary in East Hanney, said: "It was a very good event and very engaging – it kept the children busy all morning with different activities."