GREEN-FINGERED youngsters got their hands dirty and helped spruce up a garden area inside a cemetery.
Children from St Aidan’s C of E Memorial Primary School and Throston Primary School spent the afternoon planting lavender in the memorial garden at Stranton Cemetery, off Tanfield Road, in Hartlepool.
The garden is part of the work for the new coffee house, which is being built inside the Stranton Cemetery Lodge building and is expected to open later this month.
Children joined members of the Friends of Stranton Cemetery group for the planting.
Putting Hartlepool First councillor Stephen Gibbon, who is also a member of Friends of Stranton Cemetery, said: “The Friends of Stranton Cemetery held an event to help in the preparation of the gardens, which will be part of the almost completed cemetery cafe.
“Although it was a bitterly cold day staff and pupils from St Aidan’s and Throston Primary Schools accepted an invitation to join us and managed to stay warm long enough to plant lavender bushes in the memorial garden, before going into the green house to plant herbs in pots.
“Pupils took them home to cultivate over the coming months and they will return them in September to plant in the cafes herb garden.
“The Friends of Stranton Cemetery would like to thank the pupils and staff of St Aidan’s and Throston schools for attending this event and also the members of the countryside wardens who supervised the planting.”
The new coffee house is a key element of the Inspirations Coffee House and Garden Centre development on the site of Hartlepool Borough Council’s existing Stranton Garden Nursery, which is adjacent to the cemetery.
The redevelopment scheme is part of the council’s strategy to generate additional income at a time of unprecedented Government budget cuts.
The new coffee shop, which is costing £280,000, is set to create between six and eight jobs.
Council chiefs say the new jobs include the posts of supervisor, catering assistant and kitchen assistants.
The coffee house will see a range of other products on sale including teas, iced drinks, cakes, sandwiches and seasonal specials.