Natural view: My fear and grudging respect of spiders

An Orb Weaver spider spotted in Norfolk.

An Orb Weaver spider - Credit: Chris Bishop

I see spiders everywhere. From the kitchen window I can spot at least nine suspended bodies clutching on to their barely visible homes. This time of year is spider mating season, which is why their presence is more notable.

I’m one of many arachnophobes who, every time I come face to face with one in the house, my whole body freezes. But in spite of my fear, I have deep respect for these eight-legged beings in cleverly balancing the ecosystem. Though they may seem to overrun the garden, spiders catch other insects which may otherwise feed on plants. 

Using the breeze to cast its web, a spider can spin between two trees in an impressive fashion. Many architects and artists have been inspired by their mesmerising patterns. The gates to Hackney New Primary school, designed by Paul Morrison, feature a web and a dandelion, which symbolise the ‘threshold’ between adulthood and childhood.

With Halloween coming up, there has never been a better time to let these weavers do their thing.