BOOKWORMS are making a beeline to a mini library set up in a shed in a South Lakeland village.

Dozens of tomes adorn the shelves of a four by four foot hut located at the gate entrance of St Mary's Parish Church on Church Road, Allithwaite.

The parish council came up with the idea after being approached by a number of elderly residents who were finding it difficult to get to the nearest library in Grange-over-Sands following the cessation of the mobile service which used to visit the village.

Having learnt about other villages converting disused telephone boxes or bus stops into libraries, the parish council approached the church about siting the shed in a central area of the village.

Allithwaite and Cartmel WI help stock the free mini library and also provide a small amount of funding to help the parish council with the project which cost around £700 to set up. The Gateway Group has also made a contribution.

The facility is open 24 hours a day and has a small solar powered light installed with a non-slip floor. At present there are books of various genres which are to be extended as more donations come in.

The mini library is run by parish councillor Christine France and her husband Kevan.

"In May more than 100 books were taken out and returned so that is a major success really," said Mrs France. "Crime is really popular as well as novels and children's books. It's all quite exciting.

"Since the library opened the response has proved very positive and there have been no incidents of misuse and many verbal comments have been extremely positive and appreciative."

She added that getting the library together had been a real community effort.

Anyone with books to donate can drop them in at the village post office.

There are comment forms available for users to fill in and if the project is considered successful then a similar facility could be installed at an accessible site in Cartmel.