Group is preparing for a wild time

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CHILDREN are being urged to help improve their local environment by joining a new youth group.

The Young and Wild Wardens group, aimed at young people aged eight to 12, will be launched by the Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project in partnership with the Teesmouth Field Centre and Natural England.

It will provide children with opportunities to learn more about local wildlife, learn and develop new skills, get active and fit, improve their local environment and have fun. The first meeting will take place at the Teesmouth Field Centre, on the approach road to Hartlepool Power Station, on Sunday, April 28, from 10am-1pm.

Members will spend some of the time pond dipping and bug hunting and the group will then meet once a month.

Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project officer, Becky Stanley, said: “The Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project already works closely with a lot of young people and their families through various free events and activities staged at a number of different locations around the town.

“This group aims to build on these links and we hope that young people will come forward and join. By engaging with children at such a young age, we aim to keep them involved in the project as they grow up. Hopefully, they might even become adult volunteers in the future.”

The three-year project aims to involve people in a range of works to improve and develop the town’s parks and Local Nature Reserves to create wildlife havens.

It was awarded a National Lottery grant of more than £350,000 following a successful bid by the council in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Burn Valley Project Steering Group.

It is being funded by Natural England through its Access to Nature initiative which is part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces programme.

Places at the first session must be booked in advance by calling Becky on (01429) 853325 or 07795 453389, or by emailing wildgreenspaces@hartlepool.gov.uk