Celebrating the wildlife on their doorstep

Billy Jones from B&Q's You Can Do It Centre at Belmont, Durham, is pictured shelping Hetton School pupils Anthony Webb, 13 and Kieran Taylor, 11 build some bird boxes.
Billy Jones from B&Q's You Can Do It Centre at Belmont, Durham, is pictured shelping Hetton School pupils Anthony Webb, 13 and Kieran Taylor, 11 build some bird boxes.
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SCORES of people turned out for a new community event to celebrate wildlife in their area.

The first Hetton Natural Awareness Day was held in the Hetton Centre for people of all ages to visit.

Hetton Local History Group members Margaret Witham and David Wallace with examples of a perculiarly local limestone rock formation known as 'cannonball' rock.

Hetton Local History Group members Margaret Witham and David Wallace with examples of a perculiarly local limestone rock formation known as 'cannonball' rock.

It was organised by conservation group Hetton Green Watch, and organisations including Durham Wildlife Trust, Wear Rivers Trust, Northumbrian Water and Hetton School had stalls at the event.

With the help of Hetton Town Council and a Community Chest grant from Sunderland City Council, the inaugural event was a success that is set to take place again in future.

Pat Robson, of Hetton Green Watch, said: “The event was the first of its ‘nature’ held in the Hetton Centre and was visited by many people from the community of Hetton and surrounding areas as well as pupils and staff from local primary schools.

“Many of them asked us ‘When’s the next event?’, so we got plenty of positive comments about the day.”

YMCA Herrington Burn youth workers Sara Coulson and Ashley Richardson are pictured with Becca Bell, Caitlin Simpson, Stephanie Charlton and Nathan Tye who are part of the School Inclusion Conservation Photography Project.

YMCA Herrington Burn youth workers Sara Coulson and Ashley Richardson are pictured with Becca Bell, Caitlin Simpson, Stephanie Charlton and Nathan Tye who are part of the School Inclusion Conservation Photography Project.

Stalls were also set up at the exhibition by Hetton Art Club, while staff from B&Q helped young people make bird boxes to sell to visitors.

Businesses in the town also got involved, with prizes donated by Wilkinson’s, Ladbrokes, Wild at Heart florist and Hetton Post Office.

“The schools in particular were so interested by the event,” added Mrs Robson.

“The whole purpose of it was to raise awareness of what we have got in the area and what we have to do to look after it and protect it.

“I think we’ve really raised the profile of Hetton, and we hope more people will come to the area and get outdoors by going on walks in the town, because there are some really beautiful spots here.”