VOLUNTEERS have done their bit to help improve a beauty spot.
Neighbours and schoolchildren waded through the River Don, at West Boldon, to rid it of rubbish as part of a Living Waterways project – a partnership between the Environment Agency and Durham Wildlife Trust.
The project aims to clean up the river and create a backwater pond to encourage wildlife and protect the area from flooding.
Michael Rogers, Living Waterways project officer, said: “I’m delighted with how things are going and the turnout for the clean-up.
“We’ve got the project off to a great start and hopefully more people will join in and volunteer to help as it continues.
“We’re holding monthly working parties where youth groups, schools and residents will help with cleaning-up the river.
“It demonstrates the enthusiasm for getting involved and improving the area.”
Backwaters are ponds that are linked directly to the river and can provide a valuable habitat for wildlife.
As well as creating the backwater, funding will also pay for public events and a pond-dipping platform, which will provide an outdoor learning resource for schools.
Rachael McFarlane, of the Environment Agency, said: “We were really pleased with the public response.
“The majority of people have been very supportive.
“We hope the project will be a real asset to the community, and will be a great example for similar sites elsewhere.”
The £19,000 project is being funded by the Local Environmental Action Fund through the community foundation and is being developed in collaboration with South Tyneside Council.
It was granted funding in September and should be completed by March next year.
For more information or to get involved, call Mr Rogers on 584 3112 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org