A NEW garden area has opened at a Basingstoke nursery to allow children to explore the outdoors.

Busy Bees Childcare, in Hatch Warren, welcomed staff, families and the mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councillor Séan Keating, to mark the official opening of the refurbished garden area.

The new mud kitchen, gardening resources, reading shed and all-weather flooring has been completed at a cost of £26,000.

Julie Weedon, nursery manager, said: “We were so honoured to have the mayor of Basingstoke and Deane come and visit our lovely nursery and help celebrate the opening of our new garden.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for all of our children to utilise the outdoor experience and education they may not receive outside the nursery.

“We cannot thank you enough to the mayor and parents who attended this celebration and to all of our staff for their dedicated and hard work.“