Award-winning Portland Nurseries Group has opened a small community outdoor lending library in the grounds of Oakwood House and Forest School in Edgerton.

The library has been created so that parents can grab a book when dropping off or picking up their child. They simply return the book when finished and swap for another one.

The brand-new books are aimed at the three stages of children within the nurseries; babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. There is a wide range of English and dual language books along with traditional and modern classics from Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s ‘Peepo’, to Julia Donaldson’s ‘The Gruffalo’ and current favourites ‘This Is Your World’ by Tilly Temple and Sean Julian and ‘All Are Welcome’ by Alexandra Penfold.

There is no cost or late fees and people are encouraged to donate books to create a greater breadth of reading matter for children and parents.

Anastasia Murphy, joint managing director at Huddersfield-based Portland Nurseries, said: “Reading books with children from birth is key to developing early communication and language skills and igniting their creativity, curiosity and imagination.

“Every time we read, talk and sing with babies and young children, we are creating strong bonds and building their foundation for learning and understanding. The stronger a child’s literacy foundation, the stronger all future learning will be.

“We hope our community lending library will help promote literacy while strengthening our partnerships with families and building community spirit.”

Lindley-based Children’s Bookshop owner Nicola Lee was there for the opening and added: “It is lovely to see Portland Nurseries encouraging parents and carers to share stories, books and rhymes.

“This can radically improve a child’s language and communication skills. We have donated some books to add to the collection and can’t wait to hear the feedback from the community.”

There will be a second library built at their Harlequin nursery in the coming months. It is open to the wider community as well as parents during the nursery opening hours.