A VILLAGE action group is staging its first ever community festival.

Bearpark and Esh Community Festival will take place on Sunday, October 27 and will feature an art exhibition, music concerts and craft fair.

The date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Neville's Cross, which happened on October 17, 1346, and saw an estimated 12,000 men engaged in combat across Bearpark Common, Crossgate Moor and along the banks of the River Browney at Aldin Grange.

Organiser Amanda Taylor-Saunders, from Aldin Grange, said: "With so many fabulous stalls from across the region, a tombola stall, face painting for the children, tasty outside catering pop ups, together with our children’s painting exhibition and musical concerts in the evening, we are expecting a large turn-out and support for the event which we intend as a celebration of our community and its heritage."

It takes place at Bearpark Workingmen's Club from 11am.

The art exhibition features work by pupils of six primary schools in the area, including Bearpark, Framwellgate, Silver Tree and St Joseph's in Ushaw Moor, Nevilles Cross and St Michael's in Esh, who were inspired by the theme of the "the beautiful Browney Valley".

It runs alongside a craft fair and will be followed by a folk concert by the Elm Tree Band from 4.30pm and by Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band at 7.30pm.

Bearpark councillor Marion Wilson said: "We are delighted that Bearpark and local communities will be showcasing what is going to be a fabulous festival hosting a lot of local artisan crafts and a painting exhibition from our primary schools.

"There is a lot for our local people to celebrate and this festival will do just that. I hope it will be well attended and supported and that we can see a way to making this an annual event."

Entry is £2 for adults, while accompanied children go free.

Refreshments will available throughout the day and there will be two licensed bars.