A COMMUNITY project will see hundreds of sheep flock to a village as part of a year-long initiative.

The Sheep Campaign in Bishop Middleham, near Sedgefield, hopes to strengthen ties between the church and community.

Throughout the year, residents will take part in sheep related activities and have been asked to knit, sew, crochet or craft in felt or wood, a sheep sculpture.

The project was officially launched this week with a display in the window of the village post office.

It is supporting the project by stocking craft materials, knitting patterns, wool and examples of what can be created.

The project is being delivered by St Michael's Church and has already attracted support.

The Reverend Geoffrey Short, said the sheep campaign was a wonderful way of bringing the church and community closer together and has praised organisers for their hard work and vision.

Children have already produced sheep puppets from kits and there will be sheep making craft sessions throughout the lambing season.

The project will close in December when a flock of crafted and donated sheep will accompany this year's Posada – a 400-year-old Mexican tradition, which sees a nativity crib travel around local households during Advent, until a final celebration at St Michael's crib service on Christmas Eve. Each participating family will receive a sheep sculpture to keep as their own.

Sheep related themes will also be used during St Michael's Mother Day service and at school assemblies. There will also be quizzes and lamb treasure trails in April and Autumn.