A project to transform a forgotten area of wasteland near the Tees Barrage into a thriving community garden, packed with wildlife has begun.
Volunteers have been working to clear the land off Navigation Way ahead of works to bring the whole area to life.
The project is funded through the ‘Awards for All’ Big Lottery programme and will create an important place for local people to escape to. The new wild garden will boast a wildlife pond, newly planted trees, a wildflower meadow and a brand new seating area.
Most of the work will be done by local volunteers and, once finished, will provide a place for people to escape the hustle and bustle and get closer to nature. The wildflower meadow and native tree species will help to attract insects and birds and local schoolchildren will be able to try pond dipping and come face-to-face with a variety of underwater creatures.
The project will completely transform a section of land that has stood undeveloped since the Barrage was constructed in 1995. It is hoped that once finished the garden may be adopted by a local school or community group who will help to care for it.
Tom Wright, development & engagement manager for the Canal & River Trust said: “The Tees Barrage is a really popular place for local people but we wanted to give them somewhere peaceful to stop and unwind.
“This will be a fantastic place for people to pause, enjoy the scenery and look out for some of the different species of birds and insects that are drawn to the garden and it’s pond. Hopefully it will give people a much better appreciation of the wildlife that’s all around them.
“We’re really looking forward to working with local volunteers and schoolchildren to tranform what’s currently a pretty shabby area of land into a place that everyone can enjoy.”