SAWTRY shoppers have helped to sow the seeds for an amazing environmental experience for schoolchildren.

Sawtry Infant School, Middlefield Road, is aiming to create a sensory garden that will become a haven of nature for its 154 pupils. The village's Anglia Co-operative foodstore in Glatton Road has pledged to get behind the four-figure project - and with the help of customers has already raised over £1,000.

Store community champion Pina Corbino presented a cheque for £500 to headteacher Fiona Wheatley as its latest donation. It followed a Pick Up A Penny fundraising campaign which was launched when the new store opened in October.

Store manager Hayley Bewick said: "Our customers are really getting behind the fundraising. We've said we will raise as much money as we can to help the school open the sensory garden and, with the proceeds from the Pick Up A Penny campaign, we've already provided £1,100.

"We gave 1p to the school for every till receipt collected from customers during the campaign - and they handed in almost 50,000, which is a fantastic response.

"We collected more money in-store over Christmas and have more fundraisers planned - we really want to make the sensory garden happen for them."

Mrs Wheatley added: "We are so grateful. They are determined to help us get the sensory garden open and their latest donation is superb.

"We still haven't worked out a total cost for the project. We need to clear our conservation area, which is currently too wild for the children to use, before we can create the garden.

"The idea is to have a garden that can be used by the pupils and their parents. It will support curriculum work and have a picnic area, pathways, grass, seating, a selection of special plants and a nature area with bird tables, hedgehog houses and somewhere for mini-beast hunts."