Pupils from a Hebburn primary school help spruce up area’s river banks

Pupils from Hebburn Lakes Primary School help to plant up the Bede Burn, Monkton Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Pupils from Hebburn Lakes Primary School help to plant up the Bede Burn, Monkton Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Youngsters from a South Tyneside Primary School have been getting close to nature to help create a community space following work to reduce the risk of flooding.

Pupils from Hebburn Lakes Primary School put their gardening skills into practice on the banks of the Bede Burn with the support of Tyne Rivers Trust.

It’s great to get local people involved in the project and they’ve done a fantastic job in creating what will become a green space for everyone to use.

Liz Walters

The group spent an afternoon planting species that thrive in wet areas such as yellow flag iris, yellow loosestrife and flowering rush to prevent bank erosion and create a green space for local residents. The landscaping will also provide new habitats for wildlife.

Liz Walters, project manager at Tyne Rivers Trust says: “It’s great to get local people involved in the project and they’ve done a fantastic job in creating what will become a green space for everyone to use.”

The work, by the Environment Agency and South Tyneside Council, is being delivered by the Living Waterways project.

The work next to Toner Avenue Primary School has involved opening up a section of the Bede Burn, a process known as ‘daylighting’ and creating a water storage basin to store run-off water during storms.

Project Manager Tom Pitman, who is delivering the scheme for the Environment Agency and South Tyneside Council, said: “Creating new valuable habitat and a facility the community can enjoy is a key part of Monkton flood scheme to ensure it not only reduces the risk of surface water flooding, but it is also something the community can get involved in and be proud of.”

Coun Nancy Maxwell, lead member for area management and community safety at South Tyneside Council said: “It’s wonderful to see local schoolchildren working alongside the Tyne Rivers Trust to help landscape the banks of the Bede Burn.

“These activities are a fun and engaging way of getting our young people out of the classroom to understand the wider scheme and the work going on around them to help reduce the risk of surface water flooding in future.

“Their involvement is sure to be a project they will look back on with pride in years to come.”