DISABLED people who enjoy cycling events at an Egglescliffe nature site are buying special tricycles and equipment with a grant of nearly £3,500.

The Gateway Wheelers Club holds regular events at the Admiralty ecology site, which adjoins the Elementis chromium plant.

The club has 130 members from across the North-East and received the money from Stockton Residents' and Community Groups' Association.

The donation will fund a specially-adapted tricycle with a wheelchair at the front, plus tools, training and cycle parts for a refurbishment scheme.

It has three cycles in need of restoration, ranging from a 1937 tandem to a prototype recumbent tricycle. Special bikes can cost £2,500 each.

Club leader David Patterson said: "Gateway Wheelers was founded in 1997 to give disabled people fun and fresh air on bikes and tricycles. Some disabled people can be isolated at home, but there's plenty of opportunity to make friends here.

"Over the years, our membership has grown from 30 to 130. People now come here from Redcar, Chester le Street, Barnard Castle and Hexham. It's amazing."

His 18-year-old son, Kevin, was a member who had ridden since the age of three. "He's now an expert," Mr Patterson quipped.

He thanked Elementis and Admiralty staff for providing access to the 116 acres. "It's a brilliant site with no traffic. We love it here and really enjoy ourselves."

New members and supporters are welcome. Details are available from Mr Patterson on 0776 3175809.