A POPULAR community wildlife park created from an area of wasteland has been further enhanced with the help of the Lions.

A group of dedicated volunteers working at The Wetlands in Langley Park, near Durham, were given an assortment of trees and two benches by City of Durham Lions.

They were were unveiled by High Sheriff Durham Robert Harle.

Durham Lions president Peter Oakley said: “We along with the Consett Lions applied for a grant from Lions International to be able to help The Wetlands.

“We provided them with 72 trees and two wooden park benches made by a group of disabled people based in Ferryhill called Endeavour Woodcraft, who the Durham Lions have supported for a number of years.

“We also provided The Wetlands with a number of bird boxes and garden equipment.”

He added: “The area, with the River Browney running through it, used to be

derelict wasteland.

“Ian Dowson has got together a band of volunteers to create The Wetlands. It is a marvellous asset.”

He added: “Lions International have 1.5m members in over 200 countries worldwide and we have been asked as part of tackling climate change to help plant more trees.

“We are only eight of us in the Durham Lions and the average age is 80. So, as you can imagine we hope to get new members - men and woman - and we hope this will encourage the younger generation to join the Lions.”

Mr Dowson, who is project manager said: “A big thank you The High Sheriff for coming into the Wetlands today and unveiling the seat and the bench the Lions have bought and donated to the Wetlands.

“We would also like to thank Consett Lions, Durham Lions and The Women Lions from Consett for attending.

“The seat has been fixed into the Sensor Garden and the bench has been fixed into Fairy Glen for the mams, dads and grandmas.”

He added: "We got a Durham County Council and Northern Echo Together Environmental Award for the positive contribution during the pandemic.

The Wetlands has an orchard, grassland for picnics, a Memory Orchard and two ponds and boasts a range of wildlife including dippers, fingfishers and herons.”