FAMILIES had the chance to get creative and help decorate a public garden.

The half-term activity was arranged at Springmead Gardens, on the corner of Ladysmith Avenue and Lower Park Road, in Brightlingsea.

A shed was recently removed and the charitable trust that oversees the garden was left with a hard-standing area raised up from the rest of the plot.

Rather than removing it, they decided to take advantage of the stunning views and set to work transforming it into a seating area and possible outdoor performance space.

That's where the families came in.

Gazette: The Koleva family adding handprints to their design

Family affair - the Koleva family, Tsvetelina, Martin and mum Mira, adding handprints to their design

Head gardener Julie Ford had put out a plea via the garden's Facebook page in May, inviting parents and children to head over during half-term and paint an image onto the concrete platform.

More than 40 families signed up for an hour-long slot and added their images to the new space.

The only guidance was that the images should be linked to the theme of nature and the resulting pictures included mini beasts, plants, rainbows, sea creatures and more.

After publishing photos of the children's paintings on social media, one comment praised the pictures by saying: "Brightlingsea is lucky to have such talented children whose paintings will brighten any day and anybody visiting the gardens."

Gazette: 4-year-old Martha Hickman presenting her picture

Proud of her handiwork - Martha Hickman, four, presents her picture

The gardens are open to visitors every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Admission is free but donations are welcome.

For more information, head HERE.

Gazette: A team of busy painters hard at work

Hard at work - a team of busy painters during the half-term event at Springmead Gardens, in Brightlingsea

Gazette: 5-year olds, Lillia Weaver and Emily Waterworth, adding their minibeasts

Big smiles - Lillia Weaver and Emily Waterworth (above and below)

Gazette: Springmead Gardens Brightlingsea

Gazette: MP 20 May 2021 COLUMN Brightlingsea garden Springmead Gardens Brightlingsea

Green space - Springmead Gardens

Gazette: Springmead Gardens Brightlingsea

Creativity - Springmead Gardens, in Brightlingsea

Gazette: Attention to detail - Martha Harrison and Betty Robinson

Attention to detail - Martha Harrison and Betty Robinson

Gazette: Working together - Lottie Kemp, seven, and Amelia Gutierrez, six

Team work - Lottie Kemp, seven, and Amelia Gutierrez, six