THE Mayor of Durham, Councillor George Wharton, is inviting people to Chase the Butterfly in aid of local conservation and environmental projects.

Coun Wharton hopes to raise £30,000 through the appeal, to provide funding for green schemes.

At yesterday's launch, he said: "We chose the symbol of the butterfly because it is such a delicate creature, some species of which are in danger of extinction.

"I have spent most of my working life in the landscaping and forestry business, so these issues have meaning to me.

"I want to see community organisations apply for funding from this appeal to carry out environmental and conservation works.

"If there is a dark corner of a village, or even the city, which needs brightening up, we want to hear from people."

More than £3,000 has been raised so far and more events are planned. A Chase the Butterfly chart will be displayed in the window of the Tourist Information Centre, Market Place, Durham City, showing how much money has been raised.