THERE'S a new colony of Little Owls in the New Forest but these fledglings don't fly - they travel by bus.

Little Owls nature study club for toddlers - run by the Countryside Education Trust at Beaulieu - is using wheels to reach more "teeny greens".

A grant of £2,500 from Tesco means the CET can now charter a regular bus to transport car-less parents and toddlers from Waterside estates to the sylvan setting of Hartford Wood.

The idea for Owls-by-Bus came from CET community officer Vivien Drake.

She said: "Little Owls Club has been going strong for more than six years, and we have lots of regular members.

"But we were very aware that we were not reaching a lot of children who might be interested in nature and wildlife, but not able to get here because of lack of transport.

"When we won a Tesco Community Award, this was the obvious way to use it. We sent out fliers around the estates at Blackfield and Netley View and parents got in touch.

"We expect about a dozen children and their parents for the first meeting. They'll be playing seed-and-fruit bingo and making a mouse's dinner," said Vivien.

The new Little Owls will meet on the first Thursday of each month. The bus will pick up at Blackfield Neighbourhood Centre, Netley View and Rollestone Road.

Contact the CET on 01590 612 401.