Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.23.09STUDENTS from a Middlesbrough school have been recognised for their hard work at one of the town’s historic parks.

The Friends of Stewart Park presented staff and students from Unity City Academy (UCA) with a framed photograph taken in the park to mark their special relationship with one of the jewels in Middlesbrough’s crown.

The gift – along with copies of the Friends’ popular book on the park – was presented at a special ceremony at the Bolckow Visitor Centre.

The framed photograph – entitled ‘The Snowman’ – was taken in Stewart Park by local resident Stephen Pugh and was one of the final ten shortlisted entries chosen in the first photography competition run by the Friends.

UCA students visit Stewart Park every Friday morning to help out with a range of tasks including litter picking and constructing habitat hedges.

They’ve also tidied and maintained the family wood area, turning their hands to coppicing willow and barking paths.

In the coming months they will be helping to sow wild flower seeds

Unity City Academy Pastoral Team Leader Tracey Conner said: “The students are thrilled with the gift and will be honoured to display the picture at school.

“It will be a reminder of all the hard work carried out by the students over the last seven months, as well as a lot of fun and many new friendships.

“Students look forward to assisting staff and the Friends each week and are looking forward to continuing in the months and years to come.”

Ann Thomas, of the Friends of Stewart Park, said: “The Park is a huge asset for Middlesbrough and one that is enjoyed by people of all ages from every part of the town and beyond.

“To ensure it stays in peak condition requires a great deal of hard work, not just by Park staff but from the community who use it.

“The students at Unity City Academy are a great example of that community spirit, and their efforts every week have made a real and lasting difference.

“This gift is well deserved recognition of their dedication and the fantastic relationship we have developed over the last seven months.”