A COUNTY Durham school class couldn’t be-leaf their luck when a local company branched out and sent them on an all-expenses-paid day out at Thorp Perrow Arboretum in Bedale, North Yorkshire.

The year four class from North Park Primary School in Spennymoor was rewarded with the trip to the historic woodland and animal centre after classmates Alfie Spragg and Darryl Fothergill, both nine, won an art competition.

Based on the theme “from acorn to oak tree”, North Park pupils were invited to draw trees representing their dream futures by Spennymoor housing development, The Acorns.

More than 150 pupils from years one to six took part in the competition – and the standard of entries was so high that Alfie and Darryl were named as joint winners by The Acorns’ team.

Darryl’s imaginative design incorporated his dream home into a tree, while Alfie drew ambitious life goals like going to university and climbing a mountain.

During the trip the children enjoyed a host of activities, including nature spotting and meeting the Victorian arboretum’s collection of owls and birds of prey.

Grace Mackay, on behalf of Maple Oak Homes, said: “North Park Primary is an important part of the local community – and with so many young families moving into The Acorns it’s important to us that forge strong links with the school.

“We were so impressed by the quality of all the children’s entries and I’m delighted we were able to treat Alfie, Darryl and their class to a day out.”

Patricia Monk, head teacher at North Park, said: “We strive hard to ensure our pupils regularly engage in activities in the local community and are always happy to work alongside community groups and businesses to foster that engagement.

“The pupils had a fantastic time on the trip and it’s brilliant to see their hard work and enthusiasm rewarded.”