A KIND-HEARTED Haddington mum has been blown away by the success of a new project aimed at getting children outdoors and reading.

Lauren Martin launched Look for a Book East Lothian at the beginning of last week.

The scheme, which is already in place south of the Border, encourages people to leave books hidden outdoors for youngsters to find and to read.

The youngster is then encouraged to read the tale and can then either hide the book again or keep it.

She said: “Initially, I cleared out my son Noah’s old books, the ones he did not read or use anymore. I put them in zip lock bags and wrote a wee not saying ‘Well done, you have found the book. Read it, re-hide it or keep it.’

“I ask them to get an adult to take a picture and post it to the Facebook page then we find the person who left the book.

“Someone will comment and say that is my book and it is bringing people together.”

Lauren, 28, had put out an appeal on social media for other people to join in and was blown away by the reaction.

More than 1,500 people have liked the page within a matter of days and she said: “I just created a Facebook page and never knew it would take off like that.

“Genuinely, I thought a few people would be into it but it has been crazy.”

Now the scheme has spread to Dunbar, Tranent, Ormiston, North Berwick, Prestonpans and Musselburgh.

Zero Waste Dunbar has also donated 100 books, while Musselburgh Library, Support from the Start and the public have chipped in as well.

Asda have also donated plastic zip-lock bags for the books to be put in when they are being hidden.

Books have been hidden everywhere from parks to near rivers.

Lauren, who is a keen photographer, was frustrated at youngsters not reading and also being stuck indoors.

She said: “I don’t really see kids out playing as much as I used to.

“I have got two younger sisters and any time I go visit them the youngest one is never out playing.

“She says she does not know what to do and has no imagination but I just feel when you read books it gives you a massive imagination. You are reading all these stories and it just gives you a brighter imagination for that reason.”

Lauren told the Courier she was a keen reader and enjoyed thrillers and reading to 16-month-old son Noah. She added: “I think it stems from my childhood, I read a lot when I was younger.

“I remembered reading Lord of the Rings when I was in P7 and I read a lot of books when I was younger.

“I think from that, out of all my sisters, I was the one who got into a creative job.

“I just think reading helps you with your education as well, it helps you with your English in school and helps you focus as well.”

To find out more, search ‘look for a book East Lothian’ on Facebook.