A ZOO is trying to tackle loneliness with the introduction of a new feature for children.

Drusillas, in Alfriston, is helping youngsters to make friends in its play area with a new “buddy bench”.

This week is Loneliness Awareness Week and Drusillas hopes the multi-coloured seat, pictured above, will be a boost for anyone looking for a playmate.

It is in the Go Wild area, in the centre of the main children’s playground.

Drusillas thinks it will make it much easier for children to make friends.

If a youngster is on their own, they can sit on the bench and others can then invite them over to take part in their games.

Cassie Poland, of Drusillas, said: “It’s hard for a child who is on their own to have the confidence to approach others and ask if they can join in. We’ve put up a little sign to ask children to keep each other company if they see another child sitting alone on the bench.”