THE transformation of a former quarry site in Weardale is on its way to completion thanks to green-fingered volunteers.

Sixty-five native trees have been planted at Thornley Wood, near Wolsingham, by volunteers working for Durham Durham Wildlife Trust (DWT).

Thornley Wood is owned by Wolsingham Parish Council and since 2016 the DWT’s Heart of Durham Project has been helping to restore the former quarry and fir plantation to a site where the local community can enjoy the wildlife and views over the Wear Valley.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “The work has been bringing about significant benefits. From a black impenetrable fir plantation, the site is gradually evolving with paths, hedges and an array of wildflowers emerging in the clearings in the summer months.

“Many of these plants are flourishing because of the poor soil substrate, a legacy of the site’s other former use as a domestic tip.”

The team carried out the work during Durham County Council’s contribution to National Tree Week.

So far 1,275 trees have been planted out of the 1,650 trees stipulated by the Forestry Commission for the site, leaving only 375 to go.

Thornley Wood has also received £5,000 from the Wear Area Action Partnership which has enabled its owner, Wolsingham Parish Council, to create a hard standing car park, fencing and gate access.

A further £2,000 has been contributed from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.