YOUNGSTERS plucked up the courage to hold handfuls of creepy crawlies as part of a reptile encounter day.

Children and their parents learnt about reptiles, amphibians and arachnids at Dovercourt Skating Rink, in Lower Marine Parade, last Friday.

It is the second time the rink has held a reptile encounters event which gave youngsters the chance to hold curious looking creatures.

Chris Scutt, who runs Dovercourt Skating Rink, said the reptile event was a success.

He said: "Once again the reptile event was very popular and everyone had a great time.

"It was such an informative event such as learning that spiders have eight eyes.

"They even showed people shredded spider and snake skins.

"We had a number of people visiting for a second time and we are looking forward to welcoming them back in 2019.

"Essex Reptile Encounters will also be joining our comic con in June to add to the excitement of the day."