The first Little Free Library book-sharing scheme in Wanstead is being installed today.

Fiona Tatham, 42, of Overton Drive, is having the Epping Forest-themed box, decorated by artist Gabriela Castellanos, installed in her front garden.

The charitable project, designed and installed by Little Free Library Project UK, encourages adults and children to swap their books and take one away for free.

The concept was created by Todd Bol in 2009 when he built a small schoolhouse in honour of his mother, a former teacher and lover of books, outside of his Wisconsin home.

It grew into a free community book exchange, with readers replacing books from the schoolhouse with other works.

The project was launched by Little Free Library Project in Walthamstow in May, which now has at least a dozen little libraries.

Mother of two, Mrs Tatham, said: “It is a great feeling to be the first person in Wanstead to sign up to the scheme.

“I saw some of the little libraries in Walthamstow and thought it is a good idea, people have loads of books they don’t use anymore, so this is a way to swap them with the local community.

“There is an element of risk that someone could come along and nab the lot of them but I am sure it will be a success here."

Mrs Tatham’s children, seven-year-old Freddie and five-year-old Oliver, both attend Aldersbrook Primary School in Harpenden Road, Wanstead.

She said: “Freddie doesn’t like the idea of giving books away but they are both really excited about it.

“They are both really into reading and this is another way of keeping them interested, because variety is important for children.”