MORE than 500 people turned out for a green event showing off a community’s natural assets.
An Environmental Awareness Day at the Hetton Centre showcased the town’s wildlife, ecology, hydrology, geology and landscape.
There was also information on the effect of littering, how to have a healthy lifestyle, and outdoor pursuits that are ‘Naturally in your Neighbourhood’ – the theme of the event.
Groups at the event included the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Wear Rivers Trust, Durham Limestone Landscapes and Hetton Local History Group.
Organiser Pat Robson, of Hetton Green Watch, said: “The event went really well.
“There were 218 adults and 321 children through the doors, so we’ve had a total of over 500 visitors.
“Every exhibition stand was of a very high standard, with many exhibitors also offering a number of free activities for children.
“There was face painting from Gentoo’s Green Team, who also gave out free plants and told stories, and a drawing competition organised by Sunderland City Council’s Library Services, with cash prizes for two age groups offered by Hetton Green Watch, a number of crafts and card-making activities from the council’s Children’s Services team.
Mrs Robson added: “We were delighted by the numbers of people who visited the event and the compliments received about the amount of information on display.
“Many had not realised how much there was to offer right on our doorstep and how we need, more than ever, to care for our local environment.
“What was very surprising to a number of parents visiting, was just how much education local schools are giving their children about the environment, so this was an opportunity for the parents themselves to learn more and therefore be better able to continue that education in a fun way at home or to begin visiting local conservation areas on family outings.
“It’s a win-win learning curve across the board.”