MEMBERS of a youth development project have spruced up a war memorial in a north Durham village by planting over 1,700 plants around it.

Students of North Durham Academy, in Stanley, who are part of the Haggrid project have been regenerating the memorial in nearby Burnhope as part of the centenary of the First World War.

Haggrid is a joint scheme by Durham Police and the Durham Agency Against Crime to promote personal development and learning through horticultural, environmental and community skills.

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Four students invited pupils of Burnhope Primary School, to help with the planting. Also present were members of the community, parish councillors and civic pride officers.

Haggrid project co-ordinator PC Ian Robertson said the youths, who are working on a year-long project relating to horticulture, were asked by the parish council to help regenerate the war memorial, which had fallen into neglect.

The students prepared the beds around the memorial and today co-ordinated the planting of red and black grass in the shape of poppies, as well as blue and yellow flowers, to represent Durham County Council.

Academy students and Haggrid members Dylan Etheridge, Shane Davison, Elle Smith and Drew Davison are on course to successfully complete their diploma in horticultural skills.