JOY in the time of coronavirus is in short supply but a group of mums in North Yorkshire have been rolling it out with a load of old stones which are now adorning the local park.

Mums in Bedale decided to launch the ‘Covid Caterpillar’ to keep youngsters entertained and spread some joy around the town by painting and drawing pictures or simple positive messages on stones.

There are now over 300 snaking their way through Bedale Park, keeping adults and children alike entertained.

Hayley Buckton and her seven year old son Riley have been promoting it through Bedale Painted Rocks facebook page.

The idea was taken from #chesterfieldUKrocks, who started the original group.

The aim is purely fun asking youngsters to find or buy rocks to paint messages and simple patterns on.

They can be hidden to be found but at the current time they’ve been built into the caterpillar with many messages of thanks to the NHS and rainbows.

Hayley said: “I just thought it was a nice idea for the kids to have something to look at in the park and something to do themselves.

“I posted it on the page and I didn’t think for a minute we would get that many rocks - it’s brilliant.

“The scheme is you find your own rock, we bought some, but it is up to you and then decorate them, they need to be sealed as well otherwise the paint can run.

“The idea is just to spread some simple joy around our town by painting or drawing pictures and simple positive messages on the stones.”

They’ve also been holding a competition to find out who has added the most rocks, along with a random pick and like and share.

Riley, who wasn’t allowed to enter the competition, drew out the winners with prizes donated by Skipton Building Society and a kitchen firm.

Hayley said it has helped during the lockdown giving the children other things to think about and keeping them busy.

She said: “We’re planning to leave them where they are for the moment so people can enjoy looking at them, I think they have made a lot of people smile as they go through the park and of course the children have loved seeing the caterpillar grow bigger and bigger,” she added.