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Hundreds of children and adults enjoyed free entry to a National Trust park and house near Pershore to take part in the launch day of the Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge 2017 with this year’s theme ‘Animal Agents’ on Saturday 24 June.

Croome Court hosted the first of three events for the Worcestershire Libraries and Learning Service which aims to get children reading over the summer holidays with this year’s guest comic creators The Etherington Brothers.

This event really does get bigger and better every year,” said Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member Responsible for Communities said. “Hundreds of children signed up to the Challenge, borrowed books from the mobile library and enjoyed an array of entertainment. It was a fantastic event and our young volunteers and everyone at National Trust Croome worked extremely hard with the Libraries and Learning team to make it such a success.”

The sun shone as families gathered in a marquee in Croome’s grounds to be entertained by comic creators ‘The Etherington Brothers’ – creators of Monkey Nuts and contributors to Star Wars, Transformers, the Dandy and Wallace and Gromit. During the day ‘Odd Kids, Dinosaurs & Lonely Shoes' was performed by The Royal Grammar School and music from Worcestershire Intermediate Wind Orchestra filled the Long Gallery in the court.

“It’s wonderful to see so many children taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge,” said Becky Wilks, Croome’s Programming Officer who organised the event with the Library Service. "This is the Summer Reading Challenge’s fifth year and once again was a hit with children.”

By presenting a library card and signing up to the Summer Reading Challenge, families could get free access to the parkland where fun activities were being held all day. As well as the workshops, there were storytelling sessions and a chance to borrow books from the Schools' Library Service mobile library.

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. The challenge is for children aged 4 to 12 to borrow and read six books during the long summer holiday. Children can read whatever they like as long as they are borrowed from the library. Anyone who didn't make it to the launch event can sign up to the Challenge in any library. Children are encouraged to take part as it helps prevent their reading from dipping over the long summer break … plus it's lots of fun.

There are two more fun filled events taking place during the summer on Wednesday 26 July with bestselling author Mark Lowery and Wednesday 23 August with award winning author Joanna Nadin between 10am-4pm.

Find out more about the event by visiting and or ask at your local library.

Croome is open throughout the year. The park and lakeside are open from 10am until 5.30pm and Croome Court is open from 11am to 4.30pm every day.