CHILDREN in Newton Aycliffe have helped to plant 10,000 crocus bulbs to improve their walk to school.

Pupils from Byerley Park Primary School took part this week in the project at the Greenfield Way underpass joining The Chase and Horndale estates.

Organised by Horndale Residents Association, it follows on from last year’s initiative to improve the look of another underpass.

Philip Clark, of the association, said: “The pupils were really happy and enthusiastic to help make a difference to lots of people who use the underpass to access local schools, church and shop and are looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labour in spring. It is great to involve the younger people in our work to improve our local neighbourhoods and this gives them pride in where they live and go to school.”

This year’s bulbs cost £600 - £500 of which was secured through Durham County Councils It’s Your Neighbourhood fund.

Staff from Durham County Council’s Civic Pride team and Cllr Scott Durham helped the pupils plant the bulbs and explained how the bulbs will grow.

Horndale Residents Association was set up in October, 2012 by a group of local residents concerned about ant-social behaviour around homes and businesses - in particular inappropriate playing of football.

The group resolved to build a multi use games area (MUGA) with the aim of providing a place for our youngsters to play and meet safely.

Working closely with the Great Aycliffe Town Council and with support from businesses and organisations the group raised £40,000 in 12 months and opened the facility in 2014.

Mr Clark said: “This has given the younger members of our communities a much needed sports facility and reduced anti-social-behaviour.”

The association has gone on to provide day trips and community events which are open to all in Newton Aycliffe. They also work closely with other community groups and agencies to improve the lives of everyone in the town.

The group is due to undergo a name change from January after gaining charity status this year.

The AGM is at Greenfield Arts Centre at 6pm on Wednesday, December 5.