- West Country (E)
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A school in the Forest of Dean which was forced to close because of an outbreak of Britain's most venomous spider, will reopen this morning.
The Dean Academy, shut its doors to pupils while the campus was fumigated following the discovery of the False Widow spider.
There have been no reported deaths from its bite in the UK, but its bite can cause swelling and pain.
A specially trained fumigation team have been at a school in Gloucestershire today because of an infestation of the country's most venomous spider.
The Dean Academy in Lydney was closed to students as experts tried to rid it of the false widow spiders.
The creature's bite is painful and can cause swelling, it is not normally lethal, although some people can have a fatal allergic reaction to the venom, John Bevir reports.
The Dean Academy in Gloucestershire was shut today due to an outbreak of false widow spiders.
ITV News Westcountry filmed this spider on the school gate, with a large, dark brown body it has a similar appearance to those identified as false widows.
A concerned parent said it was right for the Dean Academy in Gloucestershire to close its doors today to deal with a false widow spider outbreak.
Pete Sosna's children attend the school, he said: "We were concerned. A lot of people say that they are overreacting… but how safe can you be?"
He added: "In my opinion I think they've made the right decision."
The Dean Academy in Gloucestershire was deserted today, with the school closed, children stayed at home due to an outbreak of false widow spiders.
A school in the Forest of Dean is closed for the day because of an infestation of the country's most venomous spider.
The false widow has been discovered around the Dean Academy in Lydney, a pest control company has been called in to fumigate classrooms.
Conservationists believe a change in the climate could be the cause of an increase in sightings of the species.
The Dean Academy in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, has identified a number of false widow spiders in the school's computer block, as well as other areas.
A letter to parents on the school's website confirmed that the school would be closed tomorrow.
Vice principal Craig Burns said the academy had taken immediate pest control advice on discovery of the spiders. The letter posted online today read:
A school in Gloucestershire has been forced to close due to an outbreak of false widow spiders.
ITV News Westcountry has provided some information on how to identify a false widow.
- False widow spiders have a large body, dark brown in colour, ranging from 7mm up to 14mm
- The body of the spider has a glossy appearance, with a white pattern on the top
- This kind of spider can generally be found in dry and undisturbed environments, like sheds and outbuildings
- They are often active at night, and mainly hidden throughout the day, and there is likely to be more than one living in the same place
Source: Natural History Museum
The Dean Academy in Gloucestershire has written to parents to inform them of the schools closure tomorrow due to "an issue with false widow spiders in the academy".
Latest ITV News reports
There have been several reports of people being bitten by false widow spiders. Here's how to recognise them and what to do if they bite.