West Boldon Lodge marks 21 years of teaching children about nature
An environmental education centre is celebrating 21 years of helping children and families get close to nature.
West Boldon Lodge has helped educate more than 55,000 school kids, provided events for 30,000 individuals to take part in, and enabled more than 8,500 days of volunteering.
To mark the occasion, a special event took place featuring a range of keynote speakers, who announced plans to increase volunteer opportunities and programmes for youngsters.
Andrew Watts, chief executive at Groundwork, said: “Our ethos is to change places and change lives, and West Boldon Lodge embodies this.
“Its educational programmes and community events not only encourage people to experience and conserve the natural environment, but also provide invaluable life skills.
“It is through the ongoing partnerships we have with National Grid, the local authority and schools, that we are able to celebrate this occasion.
“I would like to thank all of our partners, volunteers and visitors for helping us reach this momentous milestone.
“I am confident we will only continue to grow and develop our offering over the years to come.”
The venue is run by Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle in partnership with the National Grid and is the only centre of its kind in South Tyneside to offer education programmes for schools, adults and families, as well as community events, room hire and support to a range of volunteers linked to the environment.
Steven Thompson, environmental sustainability manager at National Grid, said: “The land and funding provided by National Grid, has enabled Groundwork to welcome a range of groups to learn about nature and the environment on National Grid’s non-operational land.
“West Boldon Lodge is a valuable asset to the local community, and I am looking forward to supporting it going forward.”