Children have festive fun at Winter Wonderland

Santa Claus and his elves came to town to help hundreds of children enjoy early festive fun and games as part of a Winter Woodland event in South Tyneside.

They were at South Tyneside outdoor environmental education centre West Boldon Lodge for a special programme of Christmas events.

In all, they visited the lodge, operated by communities’ charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN), eight times over the festive period.

Children acted as Santa’s personal ‘elf helpers’, and found their way through woodland to meet the Christmas Fairy.

They also built toys and decorations to take home from a special seasonal elf workshop – and met Santa during the two-hour programmes.

Rebecca Maw, Groundwork STAN’s Communities Manager, said: “Hundreds of children and their parents have had great fun at this year’s Winter Woodland.

“There have been lots of educational and entertaining events to take part in, and Santa’s been here too.

“The Winter Woodland has helped to bring people together. It’s been a huge success.”

West Boldon Lodge sits in 13 hectares of ponds, woods and meadows off the A184 Newcastle Road and opposite The Quadrus Centre.

Specialist staff run many year-round education programmes for schools, adults and families, as well as community events.

The centre also supports a range of volunteering opportunities and can be used for room hire.

Groundwork STAN works to create sustainable communities, specialising in training and education programmes and in the creation of ‘green’ spaces.

The lodge forms part of its portfolio, which includes the £5.4m One Trinity Green business centre in South Shields, the Eco Centre in Hebburn, and Newcastle’s £6.5m Beacon enterprise centre.

Winter Woodland sessions are fully booked but more information on West Boldon Lodge is available by calling 0191 536 4873 or by emailing