A treat for the senses at RSPB Saltholme

left to right Faye Simpson, Jessica Adams, Abbie Robson, Courtney Dee, Kye Walsh, Zain Bashir, Matthew Hall, Matthew Froggart, Raees Hussain (foreground), James Simpson, Bethany Brown and team mentor Yacouba Traore
left to right Faye Simpson, Jessica Adams, Abbie Robson, Courtney Dee, Kye Walsh, Zain Bashir, Matthew Hall, Matthew Froggart, Raees Hussain (foreground), James Simpson, Bethany Brown and team mentor Yacouba Traore

A NEW treat for the senses is in store for visitors to RSPB’s nature reserve at Saltholme.

A group of teenagers built a range of sensory boxes for people to enjoy as part of a project to prove their citizenship.

School leavers from the Safe in Tees Valley (SITV) youth project built the boxes as part of the government-funded National Citizenship Service programme which ran over the summer months.

The youngsters were tasked with coming up with their own project idea to give something back to the community and seeing it through to production and delivery.

They decided to make sensory boxes which engage the sense of touch rather than sight.

The boxes are made entirely from recycled materials. Saltholme said the project fitted perfectly with the its environmental standing as part of the UK’s biggest conservation charity.

The boxes will be used to hide a variety of objects from nature that visitors young and old will try to guess from just the feel of them.

Reserve staff they will be used during various events and the objects will vary according to the seasons.

So for Halloween, the boxes could house spiders and come Christmas it could be pine cones.

The reserve says the boxes will help families to get more out of their visit to the nature reserve on Seaton Carew Road near Billingham.

The teenagers who took part in the scheme presented the boxes to delighted Saltholme staff last weekend.

Saltholme site manager David Braithwaite said: “We’re delighted that the teenagers in this initiative decided to choose us as beneficiaries of this project.

“The boxes are fantastic and will be well used, especially during our big events like the Halloween weekend we have coming up.”

Safe in Tees Valley is a not-for-profit organisation that tackles crime and community safety by building long-lasting partnerships with the public, private and voluntary sector.