A TEAM of volunteers are to improve one of Prudhoe's landmarks.

The 30-metre-long badger on the town's Station Bank is to be given a facelift having fallen into disrepair.

The badger was cut into the steep, grassy bank overlooking the A695 bypass in the early 1990s after being commissioned by Northumberland County Council.

It was created by artist Gary Power in stone and marble, designed to integrate with the rural environment.

It is thought that when the bypass was built, it cut through badger homes.

"It just seems like such a waste of what it was", said Andrew Hamilton, of Prudhoe, who is behind the campaign to 'Smarten up Prudhoe's badger' on Facebook.

Andrew first painted the badger himself around three years ago because his young children did not know what it was.

He said: "When I painted it last time, everybody driving past just starts tooting! You've got a lot of people who want to see it. It just takes one person to say 'do you want to help?' rather than everybody driving past all the time.

"It used to stand out on the hill, you could see it from two or three miles away

"When you compare the photographs of when it got built to now, it's probably half of what's there. The rest of it has disintegrated."

The group will give the badger a fresh lick of paint, put stones back in place and weed the area.

Andrew added: "To have 20 people turn up, it's going to get done twice better than when I did it and in about an hour or two hours work. There's been a real appetite for everyone helping out."

Volunteers will meet on April 16 from 10.30. The paint will need a second coat on April 17. Paint has been supplied by A McGee D I Y & Electronics on the town's Front Street.

Andrew said more investment was needed to maintain the landmark for the future, but the group's effort would be an improvement at least. He will now push for more stone and for surrounding trees to be cut down so the badger can be seen from further away.

"I am really impressed with the community of Prudhoe, pulling together, once again", said Prudhoe North councillor Angie Scott.

Prudhoe Town Council maintain the badger via a contractor. 

Several other groups in the past have helped with improvement works.