VOLUNTEERS have secured a £10,000 grant to create an educational wildlife area for children at a playing field.

Carlton Miniott Playing Field committee, which was recently awarded £50,000 from the National Lottery to improve the football pitch, has been told the Big Lottery Fund has approved its application for the maximum grant it offers to develop an overgrown area.

Work is set to start on creating a natural play area, aimed at children under eight years old, and is likely to include a tee pee and den building circle, interactive stations, such as bug hotels and den building as well as signage to help identify the local bug, bird and plant life.

Committee chair Sam Irvine said: “We are thrilled to have been successful in our application and excited about the ways it can be put to use to help kids interact with the local wildlife on their doorstep.

“The new area will also include seating in the style of an outdoor classroom and we hope to entice local schools to take their learning outdoors and help educate children about the beauty of bugs and their habitat.”

The Northallerton-based Pendragon Community Trust, which is working to open a family centre for people with special needs, was among 11 other projects in North Yorkshire to receive grants from the Big Lottery Fund.

The trust, set up by businessman David Kerfoot and his wife, Elizabeth, who bought a new building on the town's Omega Industrial Estate, will use its £10,000 grant to install a platform lift to make the building fully accessible for people with disabilities.

Margaret Brice, manager of Age UK in Northallerton, said the £5,500 awarded to the Impaired People’s Club would serve as a huge boost to its users and help to expand its membership and activities.

The club, which until now has met once a month, will use the funding to provide more accessible premises and appoint a part-time worker to arrange a programme of activities, trips, speakers and a resource library for their recently established support group for people with visual impairments.

Mrs Brice said the funding would lead to an improved support network and reduce the isolation of members.

Sutton under Whitestonecliffe village institute and Cold Kirby village hall, both near Thirsk, received £4,890 and £3,800, respectively.

The institute will use the funding to improve the building’s acoustics and develop its website, while the hall will replace its windows and upgrade its power supply, ensuring it is suitable all year round for community use.