THIRTY new jobs are being created near York through the launch of a new children’s nursery and the expansion of an existing one.

Planners have given the green light to Little Green Rascals at Elvington, which will offer 78 places for youngsters up to pre-school age and provide work for 20 people.

Orchard Trees Day Nursery, just outside Wheldrake, has been given permission to expand into a unit next door, increasing the number of places from 53 to 73 and creating an additional ten jobs.

Little Green Rascals is an “organic” day nursery based at the York Maze. York mother-of-three Vanessa Warn and her business partner, Tracey Brooks, hope the nursery – which plans to open in June – will be the first of its kind in the north, giving children an early guide to being environmentally-friendly. “To open an organic nursery has been a dream for some time, but we have struggled to find a suitable location,” said Vanessa.

“After York Maze’s move to their new site, I approached the owner Tom Pearcy and we identified a building on the farm which would make the perfect home for it.

“Our enterprise will encourage care for the environment from a very young age. From using environmentally-friendly cleaning products and biodegradable nappies to providing only organic food and drinks, Little Green Rascals will offer something different.”

Youngsters will also grow their own produce and collect free-range eggs, while the nursery will introduce a pick-up and care-share scheme, with more details available at

The new owners of Orchard Trees Day Nursery, Steph Temple and Craig Hopwood, say they saw the potential of the nursery and immediately leased the available adjoining unit to expand space by 50 per cent.

They said they had also invested heavily in the existing area with new safety flooring, IT, resources and staff training amongst other things.

Future plans included investment in the large orchard garden with the creation of a covered all-weather play area for the children which they could use come rain or shine.

Liz Boswell, the new nursery manager, said, “The nursery is in a beautiful setting. The buildings are barns converted for the nursery just over two years ago. I had only been the nursery manager for three weeks when we had our Ofsted inspection but we are delighted to have been rated as good. It’s a credit to the staff and children”