A BUG and reptile enthusiast with autism will show off some exotic animals at the Devon County Show next month. 

Ned Riley, 20, from Somerset, will exhibit a Brazilian Black Velvet tarantula, a crested gecko, a corn snake and some Burmese Beauty millipedes, all provided by reptile shop Exeter Exotics. 

It comes after Devon County Show pledged to make the show “more inclusive and accessible”. New features this year are a “quiet zone” for neurodivergent children, a high-dependency toilet unit and disability stewards.   

Mr Riley has been interested in bugs and reptiles since he was a toddler. Earlier this year, he spent a few weeks in Sri Lanka with his parents.   

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen my son so animated as he kept discovering bugs he’d only dreamt about seeing before the holiday,” his mother Jane said. 

“I am now determined that Ned should try and make a career out of his very genuine talent.   

“I’m so hoping that Devon County Show might help give him a much-needed foot on the ladder.  You never know, he might become the next David Attenborough!” 

The animals will be housed in locked, temperature-controlled vivaria complete with a habitat built to mirror their natural environment and will be available for Devon County Show-goers to look at but not handle.  

Jane added: “If you’re phobic about bugs, you should really try and pay Ned a visit.  From my own personal experience, the more you understand about bugs and their purpose on the planet, the less frightening they become.” 

The Devon County Show takes place at Westpoint from Thursday, May 16 to Saturday, May 18 and Mr Riley will be there every day. 

To get early bird discount tickets, visit www.devoncountyshow.co.uk. Early bird standard ticket prices for adults are £20 until April 30. 

Advance standard adult tickets are £23 from May 1 to May 15, and on-the-gate standard adult tickets are £26. 

Children aged 5-16 pay £7.50 on Thursday and Friday and go free on Saturday (two children per paying adult).