A POLICE station’s garden has been spruced up with the help of green-fingered school children.

Community volunteer Ronnie Allaker teamed up with students from Greenland Primary School and Tanfield School to help transform the garden outside South Moor Police Station, in Stanley, County Durham, and the neighbouring property.

Their work included planting flowers in the borders, making hanging baskets and trimming the grass.

It was complemented with a mural created by artist Julianne Thompson, who is the wife of Tanfield School assistant head teacher Ian Thompson.

The mural was funded by Durham county councillors Mark Davison and Carol Hanson through Stanley neighbourhood watch.

Durham’s Police and Crime Commission Ron Hogg, who dropped in to see their handiwork, said: “The whole projects is absolutely superb - two schools coming together to improve the look of the community .

“It has made the police station itself much more amenable and attractive. The purpose is to set this as a good example that others in the the street will hopefully follow.

“These projects depend on people with good ideas and drive to get them done and he has been at the heart of this. I really do take my hat off to Mr Allaker. He has done tremendous work."

Mr Allaker, who works as a volunteer gardener at Greenland Primary School, said: “I enjoy working with the children. I believe that by targeting them at primary school age they gain a bit more respect for the environment.”

Sergeant Dave Clarke, of Stanley neighbourhood policing team, said: “The idea is to get the community working with the police. It helps break down the barriers with police. Ronnie has done a fantastic job.

“We have entered Stanley Town Council’s Blooming Fun competition. If we win, the proceeds with go to other projects."