AN empty strip of land at a Hartlepool school is being transformed into a garden for youngsters.

Work has been launched on land at St John Vianney Primary School, in King Oswy Drive.

A garden with two themes will be created on the land between the school building and the new £640,000 Early Years Centre.

One part will be a materials garden, featuring flowers in raised planters, seating, different coloured paving and tarmac, and a raised timber area for use as a play area or a stage.

The other part will be a reflective garden, a quieter place for outdoor lessons.

It will have seating areas, plants and flowers, a tree-lined walkway to the Early Years Centre and a curved wall with reflective elements set into it.

The project is being funded with £29,000 from the North Hartlepool Partnership.

It was developed by Hartlepool Borough Council landscape architect Ian Simkins, who worked with pupils, staff and governors.

Headteacher Margaret Wilson said: "The garden is based very much on the children's perceptions of the school, and we are delighted at how well the design captures the ethos of the school.

"What is currently just a barren patch of field will become a marvellously colourful and stimulating area which will extend the learning environment for our youngsters."