Students dig in to help preserve nature

College students are digging out a pond by hand at a woodland park, near Billingham, to help wildlife.

East Durham College Environmental students have joined forces with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust to create an area of standing water at Wynyard Woodland Park.

The pond being excavated by the students had gradually silted up in recent years and is in danger of dying out, meaning wildlife that depend upon it may die.

Ian Prescott, chief executive and principal of the college, said: "The College prides itself on its environmentally friendly values, so I am pleased that East Durham students are involved in such an ecological project.

"This project not only benefits the students' learning experience, but it also gives something back to the environment."

Jonathan Pounder, lecturer at the college, said: "The students are working on this project as part of their NVQ studies.

"The course not only teaches them practical skills, but also about the relevant health and safety, survey and identification skills."

The pond restoration project is being carried out as part of the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust's Tees Valley Newts project, which is funded by Sita Environmental Fund, and in partnership with Stockton Borough Council.