A NEW dipping pond has been created at a primary school so children can find out more about nature.

Staff, pupils and parents at Roseberry Primary and Nursery School, at Pelton Lane Ends, near Chester-le-Street, have been trying to raise money for the new pond for the last 18 months.

Trina Hodgson, school secretary, said: “We’re based in an area where there isn’t anything similar to the dipping pond, and we wanted to give the children, their families and other members of our community the chance to find out more about wildlife and the environment in a hands-on way which might otherwise have been out of reach.

“As well as providing a new educational environment, the pond is giving the children something that they can take ownership of and pride in.”

The pond, which is in a field next to the school, will also be accessible to the community.

Ms Hodgson added: “We felt that the pond would also offer a good meeting point for local people who enjoy being outside, and would be useful in promoting local social interaction, so we’re keen to ensure we spread the word about it right across the community.

“A great deal of thought, time and effort has gone into realising these plans, and the support we’ve had from both inside and outside the school has been fantastic.”

During school time, pupils will be visiting the pond on a regular basis to help expand on work done in the classroom.

Headteacher June Lee said: “The wildlife pond is a real asset to the school and local community. It enriches our curriculum and pupils can experience nature first-hand, rather than reading about it in books or accessing the internet. The children are always thrilled to visit the pond and explore the flora and fauna both within and surrounding the habitat.”

The raised more than £5,000 for the project and were given a £5,000 grant from the Banks Group, from its community fund, to complete the work at the end of term.