YOUNGSTERS have been digging in to brighten up their village.
Pupils from Cotsford Junior School, in Horden, planted 200 bulbs between the village’s Third and Fifth Streets.
The hard-working youngsters, along with parents and staff, local councillor Dennis Maddison and Michael Fishwick from Accent Foundation, planted a further 200 bulbs in school grounds.
The brightly-coloured crocuses and hyacinths are expected to be in bloom in February.
The gardening club at the Third Street-based school is going from strength to strength.
It is one of a wide range of ecology-friendly efforts at the school.
The school achieved Green Flag status in the Eco-Schools programme in November 2009 for its efforts to raise awareness of the environment.
The club, which has 16 children and 10 adult members, was set up more than five years ago.
It has been hard at work installing planters, raised vegetable beds and fruit trees, from which club co-ordinator and school teaching assistant Pauline Evans makes jam.
The club also has a greenhouse where tomatoes are planted and the youngsters have also planted potatoes in recycled carrier bags.
Mrs Evans said: “It’s all about education and outdoor activity.
“They are aware of the need to keep the area clean and do a lot of weeding outside of the school.
“They have got the kind of knowledge they can build on in the future.”
Coun Maddison, who represents the village on Durham County Council and is a school governor, has been supporting the club since it was set up.
He said: “I’m over the moon with the kids. “They are trying to brighten the village up and you have got to take your hat off to them.”
The gardening club’s success comes after pupil Luke Birt won the volunteer under-18 award in the County Durham Environment Awards earlier this month, as reported by the Mail.