A GARDEN for wildlife is taking off thanks to the backing of airport fund chiefs.

They have given £5000 to Garden Leave, a charity which provides gardening therapy to war veterans and serving Armed Forces personnel struck down by the invisible wounds of conflict.

It's estimated that a fifth of all personnel suffer such effects and the charity offers therapy sessions at three sites at Erskine, in Renfrew-shire, Ayrshire and London to promote positive changes in health and wellbeing.

Charity bosses want to extend their scheme by developing a plot of land in Erskine into a flourishing wildlife garden and are being backed with the cash from the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund.

Gardening Leave chief executive Heather Budge-Reid said: "Turning an area into a wildlife haven helps veterans heal their invisible wounds.

"Glasgow Airport's FlightPath Fund is helping veterans turn this area into a wildlife garden and not only will the local bugs, bees and birds be happier but the veterans will have achieved a purpose that benefits everyone - one of their first steps to recovery."

Councillor Sam Mullin, of Renfrewshire Council, is a member of the FlightPath Fund committee.

He said: "I spent some time at the charity's Erskine site and was truly overwhelmed by its work and commitment to improving the wellbeing of their clients."

The fund was launched by the airport four years ago to give cash to community groups, charities and innovative projects operating in the areas of education, employment and the environment.

So far managers have given more than £600,000 to 200 organisations operating under the airport's flight-path over Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East and West Dunbartonshire.

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk