A RETIREMENT village has donated its winnings from an awards ceremony to help community groups look after wildlife sites.

Middleton Hall Retirement Village, near Darlington, has donated the £500 cheque to Durham Wildlife Trust after being commended in the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2013 for its Middleton Woods apartments.

The management team received the cheque after reaching the top three in the Independent Living category during a ceremony at Lord’s Cricket Ground, in London.

Jeremy Walford, managing director of Middleton Hall, said: “The Pinders awards are one of the biggest events of the year for the care industry so we were delighted to make it to the final.

“We have so much wildlife at Middleton Hall, which both staff and the residents encourage and look after, so it seems fitting to put the money towards fostering more wildlife in County Durham.”

Middleton Hall is a corporate member of Durham Wildlife Trust and runs many wildlife projects in its grounds, such as providing nesting boxes for owls, wetland areas for breeds such as moorhens.

The trust said the money would be used to help community groups around Darlington cultivate their own Wildlife sites.

Jim Cokill, of Durham Wildlife Trust, said: “The £500 will be used to support work on wildlife sites across the Darlington area. Hopefully we can use the example set by Middleton Hall to inspire other communities to do their bit for nature.”