WORK is underway to create a new community garden.

Kevan Jones MP officially cut the first sod to mark the start of the development behind the Fulforth Centre, in Sacriston.

The design includes a peaceful sensory seating area and a community growing space.

Residents will be able to enjoy an escape from life to enjoy nature while children will have a place to play and learn safely.

Funds have since been gathered from Chester-le-Street and District Area Action Partnership, local county councillors, Sacriston Parish Council, Durham Constabulary and Civic Pride.

There will be weekly planned workshops for schoolchildren and two local housing support charities, as well as a weekly open garden session for the general public.

Diane Bloomfield, a longstanding volunteer at the centre who helps look after the grounds, said: “It’s great to see some new faces who are as enthusiastic as I am about gardening.

“New friendships will be formed over our wheelbarrows and trowels.”