GENEROUS shoppers have been thanked for their support after a North Tyne wildlife project received a significant funding boost.

The Kielder-based Restoring Ratty water vole scheme received £2,365.87 from Bellingham Co-op shoppers from the Co-op Local Community Fund.

And Restoring Ratty is so popular in the area that the project, which is working to bring water voles back to the waterways of Kielder, has been chosen by Bellingham Co-op as a local cause for a second year.

The community fund increased its donation to Restoring Ratty to two per cent, which will enable the project team to work with North Tyne Youth and take local children on a Ratty-themed residential in the spring.

Speaking about the cash boost from shoppers Kelly Hollings, Restoring Ratty Project Officer, said: “What a way to boost morale during the second lockdown - over £2,000 for the project and another year of support from shoppers as well.

"As a Bellingham resident, I’m a great believer in shopping locally and keeping smaller shops in business, now more so than ever.

"The Bellingham Co-op is a real hub of the community and vital to people living in the area, so come on shoppers, help us to continue bringing Ratty to the Kielder area and making us your cause next time you do your shopping.

Co-op members select which cause they want one per cent of their sales to go to, with the money raised together with money from carrier bag sales helping local projects.

Bethany Nichol, community fund pioneer at the Co-op praised Restoring Ratty's wildlife work.