RESIDENTS made their unique mark on an underpass to complete its colourful transformation.

Zoo animals, Tommies and Colchester Castle now feature on a mural to brighten up the underpass at Baronswood Way in Colchester.

Operation Underpass was launched by resident Tina Denmark to transform the St Michael’s estate walkway which has been blighted by crude graffiti in the past.

Art teacher at St Benedict’s Catholic College Lolly Stewart-Thomas helped with the painting alongside artists Paige Brandon and Amy Sparkes.

Stencils of poppies were made so residents could help out at a community day and children and parents were able to put their own stamp on the underpass.

Lolly said: “With the amount of poppies I’d say we had more than 100 people come and add to it.

“It was lovely people braved the rain, families added clusters of poppies or single ones with their names on it.

“Everyone was really keen to get stuck in and mindful of each other’s work.

“People could add poppies, shells or star fish to the beach sections which was fun as more colours were involved.

“People got really creative, there was so much positivity and we are really proud of this community project.”

Councillor Lyn Barton attended the community day and added her own poppy to the mural.

She said: “We have had numerous complaints over the years with graffiti, broken glass and litter.

“I am absolutely delighted this community-led initiative has transformed a really grotty area in to something quite special.

“The creativity and thought behind the design is outstanding . This is one of the most exciting community initiatives I’ve been involved in since I became a councillor.”

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation, which is control of the underpass, had given permission for the mural to be created.

A celebration event will take place on Wednesday.