AN ENCHANTED forest has been created in a new school library in a bid to inspire children to read for enjoyment.

St Anne’s Catholic Primary School spent £38,000 revamping its library, which now includes two giant trees, toadstools and a deer.

The money came from the school’s building fund, and children’s author Andrew Norriss was delighted to officially open the library.

Pupils at the school in Pinkerton Road, South Ham, Basingstoke, then took part in a workshop with Mr Norriss.

Jakki Alexander, headteacher at St Anne’s, said: “I wanted something that would encourage children to read for enjoyment, and we’ve created a magical place for children to come. It’s certainly had an impact.”

Mrs Alexander gave her vision for the new library to a company which then made the idea a reality. The library was opened during Children’s Book Week. Mrs Alexander said: “The children love it. It has the ‘wow’ factor.”

Speaking about encouraging children to read for enjoyment, the headteacher added: “The whole culture in society is that children don’t read for enjoyment – they are told to read – and that gives a negative side to it.

“Reading can take them off into another world, and that’s what we want to encourage.”