Volunteers have been recognised for their efforts to clean up a hidden gem in Peterlee.

Jim Wood, Paul Brown, Graham Smith and Gary Hammond, who work for Caterpillar, have been recognised by County Durham Environment Partnership and the Coastal Streams Partnership for their help to conserve Wapping Burn, which runs through Peterlee Business Park.

The Wear Rivers Trust, a local environmental charity, has been working with the Coastal Streams Partnership, Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water, to protect the Wapping Burn, which runs through the Peterlee Business Park.

The four volunteers received recognition through the ‘Caring for the Environment Awards’ from County Durham Environment Partnership in front of representatives from The Coastal Streams Partnership, at the Novus Business Centre, Peterlee.

Spectrum Cultural Hub is Seaham has also been heavily involved in the clean up of Wapping Burn, as part of their commitment to helping community projects, while Business Durham have supported the clean up too.

Jim Wood said: “It’s great to see all of the hard work coming together since I first got involved with the design stage of the project. The work being delivered on the burn is going to make a huge difference to the local environment and we all need to pull together and do our bit to keep it clean and tidy.”

It is thanks to volunteers like Jim and his colleagues that this is one of the emerging success stories. The Wear Rivers Trust aims to create a thriving wildlife corridor, in the heart of the Peterlee Business Park, which local people can be proud of and enjoy. To continue doing this, they are seeking help to maintain the newly restored sites and deliver further restoration projects downstream.

Steve Hudson, Senior Project Officer for The Wear Rivers Trust, is especially keen to speak with local business people and community groups who can spare a little time to get involved, to do some team-building and be a little more active for a very good cause. People are invited to get involved with litter picks, vegetation management, weed control, wetland and tree planting.

He said: “There is no need for a long-term commitment. Just an hour or two of time will make all the difference.”