CHILDREN will be able to learn about nature in an outdoor classroom, thanks to a £10,000 lottery grant.
Bardon Mill and Henshaw Village Hall and Community Projects Group received the cash injection from the Big Lottery Fund, which will enable them to extend a Northumberland woodland nature trail leading to an open air classroom.
The Pitman’s Trail at Redburn Park will be expanded to twice its length and 500 native trees and shrubs will be planted. Butterfly glades will be created and family community conservation events will be held, while volunteers will have the opportunity to gain accredited training and learn new skills.
The group is one of 14 organisations in the North East receiving funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s grants scheme, Awards For All, which gives grants of up to £10,000 to projects that make a difference to people’s lives.
Chair Dorothy Welsh said: “We’ve been working on breathing new life into an area of derelict, coniferous plantation and are now focusing on woodland and habitat creation through the planting of more than 500 native trees and shrubs.
“Our nature trail will be expanded to twice its current length to an outdoor classroom with toadstools for seats. We’ve had so much help from people in the village, young and old. Volunteers have even travelled from all over Northumberland to help out with conservation work. It’s really heart-warming and we can’t wait to see it finished.”
Last year the group received a £354,576 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme to build a new village hall – into the side of a hill. The partially-underground hall is being built on the site of the former Bardon Mill Colliery which closed in 1973.
The new hall will be partially earth-sheltered to look like the entrance of a drift mine. Meanwhile, other North East projects also to be awarded funding include North Tyneside District Disability Forum, The Outlookers, Gateshead Citizens Advice Bureau, Alnwick Cricket Club, Bearpark Community Monday Afternoon Group, The Spennymoor Settlement, Bowes and Gilmonby Parish Hall, Women’s Institute – Lowgate, Gateway into the Community, Cramlington Northburn Primary School, The Nearly Famous Performing Arts Group, West Park Veterans Club and South Tyneside District Scout Council.