DURHAM County Council’s Operation Spruce Up has completed visits to West Cornforth and Ushaw Moor.

The deep-cleaning programme which won Campaign of the Year at Keep Britain Tidy Awards 2018, sees council workers join forces with residents, schools and businesses to improve the local environment.

In Ushaw Moor, the Spruce Up team focused on the B6302, Broom Lane, Boundary Close, Station Road and surrounding areas. In West Cornforth, they concentrated on High Street, Station Road, The Oval and surrounding areas.

Work included sweeping and clearing footpaths, replacing old bins, repairing benches and fencing, removing weeds from paths and green spaces, pruning and replanting shrub beds, clearing gullies, pruning trees, a litter pick and painting and maintaining bollards, fences and benches.

The council’s Civic Pride team also delivered assemblies at Silver Tree Primary School and St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Ushaw Moor about the importance of looking after the local environment.

Silver Tree staff and pupils also helped the campaign’s mascot Tidy Ted plant summer bedding planters, while St Joseph’s pupils produced posters encouraging residents to care for the area as a part of a competition. The winning poster will be displayed on the school gates and in businesses and community buildings across the village.

In West Cornforth, the work was complemented by additional planting in the High Street, funded by local county councillors.

Land was also prepared for a new nature area, which will be packed full of bird and bee friendly plants. In Spring, Durham County Council staff will plant up the area alongside volunteers from Cornforth in Bloom, Cornforth Partnership and Cornforth Parish Council.

Oliver Sherratt, the council’s head of environment , said: “Operation Spruce Up is a great initiative as it targets one area at a time in a co-ordinated and concentrated manner. This means residents can see a real difference in a short period of time, and by encouraging communities to get involved, it creates a sense of local pride.

“I am delighted the campaign is continuing to make such a positive difference in towns and villages all over our beautiful county.”