A group of children left devastated after painted rocks went missing from their village, have had their spirits lifted with the creation of a new rock garden.

Since the start of lockdown, youngsters in Huncoat had been decorating rocks and hiding them in their community for other children to find.

But as the weeks went by, the rocks gradually began to disappear, leaving the children upset and confused.

That's when mum-of-one, Emma Zollner, came up with the idea of creating the 'Huncoat Rock Garden' to cheer the kids up.

Miss Zollner, whose son, Robert Bury, five, had been enjoying searching for the rocks before they went missing said: "We'd gone from finding 20 rocks a day to two or three and a lot were not being re-found.

"During these unprecedented times it understandably didn't take much to upset the children in our community, and after speaking to some other parents, we discussed creating a rock garden instead.

"So on May 8, we went out to Spothouse Woods and chose a tree, made signs, took solar lights, painted five rocks and the rock garden was created."

Miss Zollner said the community wanted a place the children could visit and contribute rocks to knowing that they hopefully wouldn't go missing.

She continued: "Me and Robert go daily to sort it out, check the content of rocks is appropriate and have a general tidy up. By May 15 it was full, we couldn't believe it.

"We've come across elderly couples who have said how lovely it is, runners stop to have a look and we've seen so many of my son's school friends there it has kept them united and together in a weird sort of way.

"The children love seeing the rocks and they all have their favourites."

Miss Zollner, who is also creating a Covid time capsule for Robert, said she wanted to spread happiness within the community, and seeing people sharing their photos of the garden on Facebook has put a smile on her face.

She added: "In a way it's also promoted exercise in children during the lockdown as they like to go and visit the garden.

"The comments have been lovely to read and Robert loves it.

"He always says to anyone who comes whilst we are there, 'thanks for coming'. It's too cute."