PUPILS and volunteers celebrated with a community picnic after spending two days transforming a primary school's garden into an outdoor classroom.

Darlington Cares' Big Community Challenge saw volunteers help pupils of St Mary's Cockerton Primary School benefit from an outdoor learning environment by revamping its garden. Employees from the town's businesses as well as pupils and teachers removed reeds from the pond, cleaned the decking, tidied the paths and much more.

The project was supported by Darlington Building Society and its members and was delivered in partnership with Groundwork North East and Cumbria, which arranged for the more technical and heavy-duty work to be done.The community picnic involved a magician and a face painter and celebrated the reopening of the garden.

School head Michael Joyeux said: “For years we’ve looked over at our planters, pond and mini-beast area and dreamed that one day our pupils would be able to use the space again, but the task of reclaiming it just seemed too great. Thanks to the help of local firms we have been able to restore this resource for our children and it is fantastic."