ITEMS of pottery dating from medieval times have been discovered during an archaeological dig at a woodland park.

The Friends of Fairy Dell, a group of volunteers which runs the park, in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, discovered a "trod", or path, believed to date from the medieval period.

The group was awarded £38,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, match funded by equipment from Middlesbrough Council, towards the dig and a "Pathways to the Past" project.

For the past week volunteers and schools have helped Tees Archaeology dig down through the different layers of t he path, which it is believed may have connected the deserted medieval village at Newham with the old Gunnergate Lane. It runs between Fairy Dell park and the Dell.

Archeologists found one piece of pottery from medieval times, and a Victorian clay pipe bowl, while a special trench dug for local schools to dig unearthed three pieces of medieval pottery.

Rachel Grahame, from Tees Archaeology, said the dig had proved the sunken footpath was a thoroughfare dating from the Middle Ages which had not been surfaced, but used by people as a track over hundreds of years.

It was used primarily by farm workers, as the entire area at that time was agricultural land.

She said: "We have had lots of help from Friends of the Fairy Dell volunteers, but lots of other people have turned up to help dig. The schools found more pottery than we did."

The items found will be displayed at the Friends' medieval festival at Fairy Dell on July 20.