HUNGRY rabbits and pigeons almost scuppered a project aimed at feeding thrifty Darlington residents – by helping themselves to free grub.

Vegetables and herbs have been planted in public places across Darlington this summer as part of the High Grow Darlo project, which aims to provide free and nutritious food for residents.

However, vegetable beds planted in readiness for the upcoming Festival of Thrift – taking place at Lingfield Point this month – soon attracted the attention of local wildlife.

Loading article content

In July, organisers were dismayed to find that their beds had been decimated by peckish pigeons and enlisted volunteers Alan Spencer and Peter Plant to take on the hungry birds.

No sooner had the pair replanted the beds than ravenous rabbits arrived to further devastate the patch, later joined at their feast by butterflies.

Wire netting proved to be an adequate deterrent and the plants are now thriving, just in time for the festival to be launched on Saturday, September 27.

High Grow Darlo’s project leader, Michael Hall said: “Alan and Peter have been incredible.

“Thanks to their efforts and perseverance the beds will be ready by the end of September and we will have a great show for visitors to the festival.”

Members of the public are invited to help themselves to produce grown across Darlington.

To be part of the High Grow team, email