Those behind Danderhall Playgroup believe that its new garden playground has opened up a whole new world to pupils there.
The playgroup at Danderhall Pavilion was started in 2006 and is a registered charity. Danderhall Playgroup manager Claire Todd revealed that a £9,200 grant from the Big Lottery Fund has transformed life for the kids at Danderhall.
She said: “There was nothing there before. We didn’t have any outdoor play space. We used to go and use the astro turf pitches.
“It’s massive. Just even the fact that before I could have counted on one hand how many times they got out in the summer months.
“Now we have got the garden, the children will be out every day.
“They are cooped up in the one room all day, it’s important to get out and get fresh air and exercise.”
The garden includes fruit trees, a bug hotel, a vegetable patch, a mud kitchen, a sand pit, a tee pee and a waterfall.
Claire thanked Midlothian Council for its support.
She said: “The council, has been brilliant. I had to get permission from them to use the space. It was just an open grass space before.
“Gary Cormack from Landscape Design at the council came out and had a look. We gave him a wish list of things we would like to have.
“He came back with a drawing. There was only a couple of wee changes.
“Initially we weren’t keen on the idea of artificial grass. But since we have had it done it’s the best thing ever.
“It’s really practical.
“As much as the idea is to get out and experience the mud, the reality is in Scotland that you have 20 odd toddlers to clean up.
“We just want the children to get out. So with this they can anytime really.”