Children in Need wildlife project youngsters enjoy nature in Hanley

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Hanley Park hosted a special Children in Need funded project that aims to “get kids excited about wildlife and nature”.

Wildplay, which is run by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, encourages children to get involved with nature by organising outdoor activities.

Hanley park, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Wildplay

Little girl searching for animal eggs

These include hunting bugs, den-building, clay making, fossil-hunting and finding animal eggs.

The charity targets children living in cities who are less likely to go outside and introduces them to parks in their area.

Hannah Farley, 25, organiser of Wildplay in Hanley, said: “Nowadays, it’s all about iPads and iPhones, so it’s amazing to see how enthusiastic they are about insects.”

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust received a £28,000 grant from Children in Need to help with running costs.

A spokesperson for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust said: “Wildplay has been running for more than 10 years, and over those years we have also received funding from Barnados Better Play Fund and The Big Lottery.”

Hanley Park, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Wildplay

Hannah Farley, Wildplay organiser

A similar event was held in Central Forest last week, with more than 100 people turning up.

Helen Gornell, a Stoke-on-Trent mother-of-three, said: “My children find it fun!

“They went to this event before in February on the one day it was sunny; it was a perfect day.”

Mrs Gornell attended an event with her family at Apedale Country Park, which was specifically for children and young people with disabilities.

She said: “I took my son Liam, who has autism. It’s great for him to be involved too.”

Wildplay was featured on BBC’s Children in Need in November at the Think Tank Museum in Birmingham.

They took children down to the studios where they had their faces painted in a camouflage style, and one of the colleagues even dressed up as a badger.

Sarah Rodgers, 44, who has worked with the charity for four years, came from a social work background where she had previously worked with children with disabilities.

Hanley Park, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Wildplay

Children on a search for bugs

She said: “It’s great for me to be outdoors and playing with the children.

“I love it and I’m learning with them.”

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust was founded in 1969 and is the county’s leading nature conservation charity.

They run events to encourage people of all ages and background to discover enjoy and care about the natural world.

If you would like to get involved visit  www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk

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