The thought of touching a snake, iguana and a tarantula might make most weak at the knees - or scream at the top of their voice – but children were fascinated by the critters at an environmental health day.

The animals took a trip to Hertsmere Borough Council offices, in Elstree Way, Borehamwood, last Thursday to teach children the importance of hand-washing after touching pets.

Pupils from Cowley Hill School, Monksmead Primary, St Teresa’s Catholic, Summerswood and Woodlands School, were also taught about how noise pollution is measured.

The 600 children were given the chance to scream as loud as they can in a special noise booth with Mayor of Hertsmere Pat Strack.

They were also given information and displays on food safety, recycling, healthy eating and pest control.

Dogs from the Animal Welfare Trust then paid the children a visit to teach them about the importance of staying fit and healthy.

Councillor Jean Heywood, portfolio holder for environment, said: “It was wonderful to see the children so enthused and engaged.

“It’s vital that children know from a young age the importance of staying safe and healthy at home, and out and about, and about how to keep their environment safe and healthy.

“Thank you to all our partners who helped to make the day such a success.”