Wigan nursery worker has a lovely surprise for children visiting the woods

Children who head into the woods are sure to find a surprise ... thanks to a caring nursery worker.

Anna Mills, a senior practitioner at Kids Planet Day Nursery in Billinge, wanted to do something to entertain youngsters during the coronavirus pandemic.

Knowing many children would be struggling without seeing their friends and the stimulation they were used to, she decided to create activities in woodland on the site of the former Billinge Hospital for them to enjoy while out for daily exercise.

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A giant, beautiful den using sticks that have fallen from trees has been built by dozens of children, complete with paint, ribbons and writing. It grows every day.

Anna MillsAnna Mills
Anna Mills

Anna added to the wonderland with other activities like mark-making, Easter egg hunts and painting for children to take part in.

The initiative has taken off, with children adding their names to the list of those taking part, leaving drawings, painted stones and small toys to create a community of children that are apart, but still together.

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Anna not only leaves hand sanitiser to ensure cleanliness, but paint, brushes and water to clean tools, so lots of children can enjoy what there is to offer.

She has done all of this using her own money to entertain the children.

After the lockdown is relaxed, Anna plans to take lots of photos, but then also keep some samples of the work and restore the woodland to its usual natural beauty.

Anna, 25, who lives in Billinge, said: “I love working with and helping the development of young children - it’s my life - so to have that taken away meant I needed to focus my attention on something that would help us all get through this challenging time. I’ve created the local fairy den and also lots of activities on my Instagram page @minicheddarz0412 to try and keep us all occupied.”

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