Children at Minety Pre-school have been enjoying their new outdoor addition: an all-weather Astroturf mound.

The 1.2metre high mound has undergone extensive renovations over the summer to give the children of the preschool a new place to play.

Pre-school supervisor Sue Tinson said: “Originally the mound was just a bit of soil which crumbled so we’ve been raising money to make this Astroturf mound with a tunnel.

“It has cost nearly £7,000 which is a lot of money but it’s really worth it; the benefits are amazing. It helps the children’s social skills, playing together, and physical skills by climbing up and down. It’s available all day in all weathers. It’s been the main plaything since we’ve been back.

“The money has come from our Christmas bazaar, our pay and play days in the holidays, where parents and kids can use the facilities for a small fee, and one mum, Cath Sharman, is running the half marathon for us. She’s working really hard.”

Mrs Sharman, whose daughter goes to Minety Pre-school, said: “It’s a small community pre-school which goes to the same people again and again for fundraising.

“Some years people turn out to loads of events but there are some dry years where nobody turns up.

“My thought was that this is also a personal goal for myself and if I put the effort in people can just click or give me some cash. The idea is that it’s an easy way to get to a good level of fitness for myself and make money for the pre-school.

“I’m trying to return to my fitness after seven years off because of having children, which is a long time. It’s got to be mind over matter and if your head can get somewhere it can drag your body there.

“It’s Malmesbury’s first half marathon this weekend, so right on my doorstep, and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. This will be my third half marathon and I would love to come in at two hours 30.”

To sponsor Mrs Sharman in the half marathon, visit fundraisers/cathsharman