OFFENDERS have been paying their debt to society by sprucing up a park to make it safer.
The adults have been working in Mercer Park, Clayton-le-Moors, as part of the Community Payback scheme. They have all been ordered to carry out unpaid work by the courts as part of their punishment.
The scheme has seen the council's parks department joining forces with Accring-ton's probation service and the Friends of Mercer Park on a programme of work to improve visibility and add to the bio-diversity of the park.
The team has been working hard to cut down and remove large overgrown shrubs to allow more light to penetrate the park and make visitors feel safer.
The Friends of Mercer Park are now working to get funding to replace the vegetation in the spring with new lower-growing shrubs which will add interest and colour to the park.
The Community Payback scheme provides 85,000 hours of unpaid work throughout East Lancashire each year.
Deputy leader of the Hyndburn Council, Counc-illor Tony Dobson, said: "This is a great opportunity for people to give something back to their local community and Mercer Park has really benefited from our partnership with the probation service and the Friends of Mercer Park group.
"The work has been going on now for over a month and we are pleased with the progress so far. The park is looking lighter and brighter already."
Stephen Bentley, unpaid work co-ordinator for Accrin-gton Probation Office, said: "It is excellent for offenders to see that it is their communities that can benefit from their work.
"They invariably take pride in their efforts, as do the professional supervisors who lead the teams. This makes for better results for the communities and non-profit organisations that we assist."
Clayton-le-Moors councillor Nick Collingridge added: "We are grateful to the team which has done a great job and residents have been telling us that they are pleased with the results so far."