Dig in for cemetery

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YOUNG and old community-spirited residents have helped give a cemetery a boost by planting hundreds of trees.

In total 420 trees – including one from the Royal Household to help mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – have been planted at Stranton Cemetery, off Tanfield Road.

The event was co-ordinated by the Friends of Stranton Cemetery Group which aims to raise awareness of the site, help ensure it remains a peaceful environment and keep crime to an absolute minimum.

It was held as part of the national tree planting week.

A dozen youngsters, aged between six and 13, from the 18th Hartlepool (St Paul’s) scout group helped plant the trees.

The group is based inside the Tees Valley North Scouts Centre, at the bottom of Brierton Lane.

Cub scout leader Margaret Elliott said: “We do a lot of work making bird boxes and planting trees and the children loved taking part.”

Independent councillor Steve Gibbon, group secretary, said: “Friends of Stranton Cemetery received 420 young trees from the Woodland Trust along with one special tree sent to us from the Royal Household.

“The tree came in its own root bag which was tied with a red, white and blue ribbon.

“This is has been planted in a separate area to the rest so that its growth can be monitored.

“Although it was not the best of days weather wise, around 70 people and volunteers turned up to take part in this historic event, including members of a local scout group.

“The group would like to thank everyone who took part.”

The trees were donated by The Woodland Trust as part of a project to encourage people across the UK to plant six million trees as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations to mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign.

The Stranton Cemetery group, made up of residents, councillors and police community support officers, has arranged a series of activities in December including:

l A carol service on Thursday at the main gates in Tanfield Road, starting at 5pm.

The school choir from St Aidan’s School will be singing and everyone is welcome.

It will be held outside of the crematorium and members of the public are asked to meet at the Tanfield Road gates.

The group would like to thank Tesco, Wilkinson and Heerema Fabrication for donations for making this event possible.

l On Saturday the group is holding a wreath-making event between 10am and noon. There will be a £2 charge for the event to cover the cost of materials.

Booking is essential and people are asked to meet at the Tanfield Road gate.

The group have thanked florists The Secret Garden and the Hole in the Wall for their donations which have helped make the event possible.

Anyone who would like more information or want to get involved, can email the group at friendsofstrantoncemetery@hotmail.co.uk or ring Sue McBride (01429) 523075.

To book a place at an event call (01429) 853325.