Pupils have branched out their studies to help pave the way for a park restoration scheme.
Tree surgery has been added to the timetable of teenagers from Framwellgate School, Durham, who have been helping spruce up Wharton Park.
It is part of the Haggrid Project, jointly run by Durham Police and the Durham Agency Against Crime, to promote personal development through enhanced environmental and horticultural skills.
The 15 and 16-year-olds are working alongside Premier Tree Services, pruning back and removing diseased trees ahead of the revamp of the 157-year-old park.
It is to close for up to a year in coming weeks for the £3m upgrade, which will see the creation of a new heritage centre and café, new play and fitness areas and restoration of existing features of its amphitheatre, battlements and miniature car track.
The Durham County Council-owned green space occupies more than 10.5 acres of land within the Durham City Conservation Area.
A successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid has led to the restoration.
Councillor Maria Plews, the county council cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, said: “It’s great to see young people getting a chance to learn new skills and also help out with important work before the full restoration of the park starts later this year.”
Meanwhile, local historian Dr Dorothy Hamilton is to lead a 12-week course looking at the lifespan of the park.
It will be staged at the town hall, in Durham, on Thursday afternoons from February 19.
The sessions will see local people sharing their memories and old photographs of the park.