Visitors to RSPB Saltholme can enjoy a new interactive water play facility thanks to a £40,000 investment by Northumbrian Water.
The funding has introduced new facilities for young visitors as well as improving access and creating better habitats for wildlife.
A bespoke water play feature at Saltholme’s Discovery Zone lets families interact with water and also learn more about how it is used on the reserve.
The reserve’s play area has also welcomed the addition of a challenging climbing frame for older children and teenagers.
Other improvements include two new rafts on Saltholme’s lake which make a safe and secure area for terns to nest and hatch their young.
Saltholme site manager David Braithwaite said: “As a result of Northumbrian Water’s kind funding we’ve been able to make a real contribution to conservation especially as the common tern is now a noted species within the European designated area at Saltholme.
“The funding has also allowed us to make the reserve more accessible and bolster the facilities we have on offer for the thousands of families that visit our site each year.
“The new water play feature and improved adventure play area will be enjoyed by many children over the coming years and we’re thrilled with the end result.”
The money was released from legacy Landfill Tax funds and administered through the Tees Valley Community Foundation.
Louise Hunter, Northumbrian Water’s director of corporate affairs, said: “We are thrilled that the projects RSPB Saltholme has undertaken with our funding are now being enjoyed by visitors to the site.
“The money has funded such a great range of positive work that will bring enjoyment to children, benefit those with mobility difficulties and, not forgetting the birds, a place to nest for the very elegant terns that spend the wintertime off the west coast of Africa but summer in the Tees Valley.”