GREEN-fingered shoppers helped to raise almost £5,000 for a children's charity.

St Peter's Garden Centre, in Norton, near Worcester, has counted up the money raised over the Christmas season from the proceeds of the Father Christmas grotto and revealed the Wood Spoon children's charity has been gifted £4,750.

Garden centre owner, Tony Blake, was thrilled with the amount collected with the help of the Mark Master Masons.

Mr Blake said: “It’s nice to give something to a good local cause. Our Christmas grotto takes a lot of time and effort to build, run and maintain and we could not do it without the help of the Mark Master Masons, who donate their time for free.”

John Gibson, chairman of Worcestershire Wooden Spoon, said: “This is a remarkable donation from St Peter's Garden Centre. This year Wooden Spoon is supporting two projects: New Hope in Worcester and Spectrum Days in Droitwich.

"Both of these projects provide brilliant palliative care to disadvantaged children. The dedication and vision of the staff that run these projects is fantastic and the monies raised by St Peter's will fund a new specialist play area at New Hope and a sensory room at Spectrum.”

Wooden Spoon is the charity of British and Irish rugby, supporting mentally, physically disadvantaged children through capital based projects.

The garden centre's Christmas display was judged to be the best in the Midlands by the Garden Centre Association and came third nationally.