THOUSANDS of discarded bottle tops have been given a new lease of life thanks to students at a North-East school.

More than 5,000 bottle tops, that would have otherwise ended up in the rubbish tip, have been transformed into colourful spiral sculptures by pupils at Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington.

Working with community artist, Yvonne Preston, the students, from year 7, 8 and 9, also created five spheres from recycled plastic bottles, each painted a different colour to represent the five different colleges at the school.

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The sculptures will hang in a silver birch tree at the school before being shown at the upcoming Festival of Thrift at Darlington’s Lingfield Point on September 27 and 28.

Maggie Harrison, acting head of art said: “The project was an exciting opportunity for students to become involved in a team venture that upcycled materials to create decorative objects for exhibition at the Festival of Thrift and display in the academy.”

The sculptures were created during the school’s recent activities week and will rust over time to replicate the changing seasons.