A book craze has hit West Cumbria and it’s getting youngsters excited about reading.

Hundreds of books are being sealed in plastic bags and hidden across the area. Inside the bag is a note asking whoever finds the book to read it and then hide it again afterwards for another child to discover.

Those taking part are also encouraged to post a photo on the West Cumbria look for a book Facebook page.

The group was set up by Jules Huck, of Parton, Whitehaven, who was looking for something for her grandchildren to do over the summer holidays that wouldn’t cost a lot of money.

She said: “I found other groups on Facebook and thought it was worth having a go. I started the group off last week and now we have 4,500 people. It’s just crazy.”

Mrs Huck said West Cumbrians from all corners of the globe are embracing the scheme, with people living as far away as Perth, Australia posting on the Facebook page.

“This has just blown me away really”, she said.

Mrs Huck said the initiative had “exploded” after she hid some story books in Parton with her grandchildren, who helped write the notes to go with them.

She also spoke of the benefits the scheme is having on those taking part.

“It’s getting them out in the fresh air. They’re not wanting to watch TV. They want to get out looking for the books.

“It’s brought an excitement back to reading. It’s getting families together reading.

“I think it’s just something different and it’s family time and that’s the best thing you can give them. We’re all so busy and we forget.

“You see fathers in the park with their arms round their kids reading the stories and hiding them again.

“I love it. It’s just lovely, heart-warming, and shows us what a strong community West Cumbria is. They have just embraced it. It’s lovely.”

Five-year-old Oscar O’Neil and his sister Ivy, 3, of Whitehaven, have enjoyed finding books and hiding some donated by the Co-op Funeral Care, where their mum, Jade Carter works.

Miss Carter said: “I think it’s a free fun activity for all the family to enjoy and anyone can take part. Both Oscar and Ivy want to go out every day now and find books to read.”

Times & Star – Lucy Jenkinson 7th August 2019