Children at six schools in Northumberland are being offered the chance to become ‘nature detectives.’

The children are set to join Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Restoring Ratty team to learn more about the world of water voles, after a £2018 donation from the Ray Wind Fund.

Pupils from Cambo, Otterburn and Belsay First Schools, Wark Church of England Primary School, Chollerton Church of England Aided First School, and Greenhaugh Primary School will visit one of the water vole release sites at Ferny Knowe near Lewisburn.

They’ll explore water vole habitats, search for tracks and signs of water voles, as well as learning basic fieldwork skills.

Kelly Hollings, Restoring Ratty Project Officer, said: “What a fabulous way to celebrate the further easing of lockdown restrictions.

“We cannot thank The Ray Fund enough for its generous donation which is guaranteed to put a smile on their faces and a spring in the step of the young people who are keen to learn more about ‘Ratty’ and his friends.”

The Ray Wind Farm, which is operated by Vattenfall, is situated on the Ray Estate in Northumberland.Vattenfall has pledged to donate money to rural communities in its catchment area for every year of the wind farm’s working life.

Restoring Ratty is now in its fifth year and has successfully re-introduced the water vole into Kielder Water and Forest Park.

The partnership between Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Tyne Rivers Trust, and Forestry England aims to protect the UK’s fastest declining mammal from habitat loss and its main predator – the American Mink.