STUDENTS will be helping to plant trees to improve the riverbanks near one of the region’s best-loved landmarks.

Around 20 students will be getting their hands dirty next week as they plant trees near Durham Cathedral to improve the area for visitors and locals alike.

A team from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus are volunteering to help out as part of their diploma in environmental conservation.

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The volunteers will be working with the Cathedral’s Woodlands and Riverbanks team, which works to improve the Cathedral owned parts of the peninsula for local people and visitors alike.

The project has won lottery funding to work with a team of regular volunteers and specialist teams to clear pathways, rebuild steps and plant new trees.

Gina Davies, from the team said: "We want to encourage more people to use the Woodland and Riverbanks surrounding the Cathedral as a space for relaxation and recreation, so we have been working hard to improve the walkways and the general area."

She added: "It is wonderful to be working with the students from Houghall because they are the conservationists of the future.

"They will no doubt be bringing plenty of fresh ideas and enthusiasm with them when they work with us and having 20 extra pairs of hands to plant trees is a huge help to me too."

College lecturer Chris Francis said: "The Cathedral Woodland and Riverbanks are a fantastic spot and it’s great to be supporting a project so central to the city.

"For our students to be able to say they have worked on a World Heritage Site looks great on their CVs and they are building their own skills while helping protect the site for their local community in the future."

Anyone interested in joining the Woodlands and Riverbanks team, should contact Gina Davies on 0191-3744078.