A £25,000 project to replace a garden in the grounds of a town's historic castle has been completed.

The former garden at the castle in Barnard Castle was originally created to mark the millennium but over time has become "dated".

So those at English Heritage, who maintain the castle, started asking the community what should be done with the garden, with discussions starting in 2016.

Residents were invited to get involved and share their ideas and with the help of Barnard Castle Town Council and the group Trees for Teesdale, an orchard and wildflower meadow were proposed.

Gardening colleagues from nearby Mount Grace Priory, in North Yorkshire, as well as a dedicated team of volunteers have created a traditional orchard, replete with local fruit varieties including 13 different types of apple.

These include the Green Balsam, a North Yorkshire breed from the early 19th century, and the ancient Ashmead’s Kernel from the early 1700s.

The orchard includes standard trees so that visitors can wander beneath the boughs along mown paths through a wildflower meadow.

The new orchard will offer seasonal showings of spring flowers and autumn fruit and the existing space was a former allotment and the remnant fruit trees have been retained.

Members of the Trees for Teesdale group planted 5,000 bulbs and 16 trees as part of the project.

The ‘leaping fish’s bench’ has been retained as a focal point within the new scheme and the work was done with archaeological supervision.

Robin Copeland, senior landscapes advisor at English Heritage said: “This orchard will better integrate into its setting, offer strong seasonal interest of spring flowers and autumn fruit and provide opportunities for community engagement and activities.

"We are thrilled with the results of this volunteer led project and would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

Mr Copeland said the project was "really exciting" and the team hoped to involve the community with school visits and other potential projects as the orchard and meadow grow.

Barnard Castle is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Entry is free for English Heritage members or £5.90 for adults and £3.50 for children.

Visit english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/barnard-castle for more information.