WASTE wood left over from the construction of children’s playgrounds is being donated to a new wildlife charity project aimed at older people and to provide a vital training hub for young people.

Chester-based family firm Creative Play, which specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of top quality children’s playgrounds, is backing a social enterprise project called Create for Nature, which has been launched by Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

The trust is converting an old milking shed at the charity’s base near Malpas into a woodworking workshop to create indoor and outdoor furniture and other wooden goods from trade timber waste.

Working with placement students from South Cheshire College and other volunteer groups, the proceeds from the sale of the items will be used to support the trust’s conservation work.

James Harris, managing director of Creative Play, whose father Keith Harris started the company more than 25 years ago, said: “We manufacture everything in our Chester factory on Sealand Industrial Estate.

“Sam Salisbury of Cheshire Wildlife Trust approached us via email with information about the project to see if there was any way we could help.

“It seemed like a nice thing to be involved with that would benefit the local community.

“I gave him a ring and told him we’d be happy to help if we could and he popped over for a chat.

“We decided to supply them with all the scrap timber generated from the playgrounds we create – if good could come from it, we’d rather it be used than go to waste.

“Sam has already picked up a couple of pallets of material which will be used to build timber products.

“We’re glad the material is being given a new lease of life while helping people gain skills.”

Corporate partnerships manager for Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Sam Salisbury, said the focus of the project is sustainability and social engagement. He explained: “As a conservation charity, this is at the heart of what we do.

“We are diverting waste wood from landfill and upcycling it into beautiful furniture.

“We also aim to provide a social hub for older, socially isolated members of the community and provide training for the young people of the region.

“To make items like hedgehog houses, bug hotels and outdoor furniture that will stand the test of time, I needed to find a supply of weatherproofed timber, and so made contact with Creative Play of Chester, whose fantastic play areas I have seen all over the region.

“James and the team set aside an area of the workshop to collect materials for us and when I went to pick it up, I was blown away with the quantity and quality of timber they were able to donate.”

Sam added: “We are very excited to be working with Creative Play on this project. Without this kind of help, charitable projects like ours would be completely unfeasible, and it’s great to see a local business dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of Cheshire.”