TWO Hartlepool firms have been praised after their work on an innovative project to recreate a First World War One trench won a prestigious award.
Gus Robinson Developments was commissioned by Seaham School of Technology to design and build the realistic battlefield in a redundant area of the school grounds.
The 20-metre trench, which includes an officers’ hut, barbed wire, sandbags and trench ladders has now been recognised in the Built Environment category of the North East Environment Awards.
The firm partnered Acorn Landscapes – also based in Hartlepool – to build the trench during the Easter holidays and since then more than 600 children from local primary schools and community groups have visited the trench accompanied by flashes and bangs to recreate the feeling of trench warfare.
Yesterday, Seaham school welcomed a delegation of students from Germany to the trench where it was used to recreate the Christmas Day football match between German and Allied soldiers.
Adam Readhead, operations manager at Gus Robinson Developments, said: “It’s certainly one of the more unusual projects we have worked on but it’s very poignant with it being the centenary of the start of World War One.
“We worked with the school to design and model the trench and then Acorn Landscapes did a fantastic job in making those plans come to reality.
“It’s great that the trench has been recognised in the North East Environment Awards because I’m sure there is nothing else like it in the region.”
James Henderson, assistant headteacher at the 850-pupil Seaham school, said: “We are very grateful to Gus Robinson Developments and Acorn Landscapes for their hard work in making our ideas become a reality.
“Hopefully, the trench will be here to inspire young people and the wider community for many years to come.”