VOLUNTEERS of all ages are being sought for a new project aimed at enhancing a stream running through north Durham.

Greening the Twizell focuses on the rural mid-section of the Twizell Burn, between Craghead, near Stanley, and Pelton Fell, near Chester-le-Street.

The burn fuelled the coal mining industry in the area for centuries until its decline in the late 1900’s.

The project will work with people from across the area and will provide many opportunities for increasing skills and knowledge about both the industrial history and also the natural history.

It has has been funded through the Our Heritage strand of the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional support from the Banks Community Fund and Tesco Bags of Help.

Groundwork NE & Cumbria are leading on the delivery of the project with additional support from the Wear Rivers Trust and the Greening The Twizell Partnership – a partnership of local councillors, Groundwork, Wear Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water, the Woodland Trust, Durham County Council and Durham University.

Groundwork community project manager Sarah Marrison said: “This project provides a fantastic opportunity for local people to learn about recent history.

“Through our education sessions with primary schools and our trips to Beamish we will teach children about the mining heritage and the social history surrounding their parents and grandparents time.

“We will also be working with groups of young people to identify projects they are passionate about and help them to take social action in their communities.”

The project provides opportunities for a number of young people to be trained in oral history gathering, so that they can reach out into their communities to capture stories of those who have direct experience of working and living within these mining communities from the early 1900’s up to the 1980’s. Our work with Newcastle University & Durham Archives will train local adults in how to research, gather and collate local historical information will help create important resources for future generations.

There will be a number of free guided walks and community events throughout the project.

The Wear River Trust will be leading conservation activities on February 8 and 15 and March 23. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact 01388-488867. For more information on the project contact Ms Marrison on 01642 815663 or email Sarah.Marrison@groundwork.org.uk.