DOZENS of daring youngsters faced their fears by getting up close to snakes, spiders and toads during an animal encounter day.

Dovercourt Skating Rink, in Lower Marine Parade, put on the event for children and adults to learn all about reptiles, amphibians and arachnids.

For the event, youngsters of a range of ages were able to hold the curious looking creatures and one girl even conquered her fear of spiders.

Chris Scutt, who runs Dovercourt Skating Rink and runs a variety of events at the venue, said the event was a hit with visitors.

He said: “The reptile day went really well, it was great to bring something different to the area.

“It wasn’t just the children that got involved a number of mums and dads joined it, one of our regular customers held a spider and conquered her fears of them.

“It was so popular on the day we managed to arrange for an extra session so people didn’t miss out.

“They were very knowledgeable and animal welfare was a number one importance.

“Although the sessions were 45 minutes long they overran each time, ensuring the customers were happy.”

The animals will be returning to the rink on Friday, October 26.

There will be a different arrangement of reptiles for the rink’s week of Halloween fun and tickets are on sale now.

Tickets cost £6 per session.

They can be bought by visiting or from the rink.