BUDDING young environmentalists have been given a cash boost towards their school’s community garden.

Ox Close Primary School, in Spennymoor, landed a £974 green grant from First TransPennine Express and the Forestry Commission to buy plants and enhance wildlife habitat within its grounds.

The school’s wildlife garden was developed by pupils, staff and residents to improve the environment, support flora and fauna, foster community spirit and enhance learning.

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Family support assistant, Louise Shepherd, said: "The Green Grant has really given the children a boost as without this money we would have been unlikely to be able to afford to buy any of these items.

“The Ox Close Garden Action Group has been contributing to the improvements of the community garden since 2007 with the children being heavily involved in planning and implementation of work to be done to contribute positively to the wildlife habitats.

“Concerned by the declining numbers of bees, bats and hedgehogs in the wild, the children decided that they would spend a majority of the money to buy readymade habitats to put around the garden, as well as materials to make their own bug hotels to provide hibernation areas for bees, butterflies, ladybirds and lacewings.”

First TransPennine Express has supported environmental and wildlife initiatives the North of England and Scotland since 2007 and works with the Forestry Commision to award green grants of up to £2,000.