VOLUNTEERS are creating a wildflower garden on a patch of neglected land in Darlington.

An area alongside Cemetery Lane is being transformed by a team of residents backed by Cllr Charles Johnson and representatives from the Co-op.

The project was inspired by local man Jim King, who worked alongside fellow volunteers to clear and prepare the land before planting bulbs that were donated by the Elm Ridge Garden Centre.

Co-op representative Hayley Gilbert said: “Cemetery Lane is a popular, well-used footpath but it often gets badly littered and is somewhat neglected.

“Local residents regularly pick up the litter but unfortunately it also became a dumping ground. Cllr Johnson obtained permission from the council for the work to go ahead and undertook a letter drop locally to ask people not to dump their garden waste. This succeeded but the group needed extra help to clear the area and plant bulbs to visually improve the land and to help prevent further littering.”

Ms Gilbert appealed for volunteers via social media, which led to Natalie Frame and her family joining in.

Ms Gilbert said: “When Jim contacted me, I know Co-op colleagues would happily volunteer to help out with such a great cause. When Natalie volunteered with her children, it was fantastic to see them getting really stuck in and getting their hands dirty. They’re very excited about seeing the flowers when they bloom.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer for the project should email Hayley.gilbert@coopmembers.co.uk.