HUNDREDS of creative tributes will be preserved to remind people of how a community rallied round in difficult times.

When Evie Burns, seven, laid down her first hand painted pebble on a footpath bridge near her Cockermouth home in April and appealed to others to do likewise, she had never imagined the fantastic response.

The stone bridge is now covered with more than 450 colourful creations. Every day new ones appear and residents enjoy looking at them on their daily walks.

Evie’s grandmother is town councillor Isobel Burns, who has gained permission to have the stones cemented on to the bridge and varnished, ensuring they become a lasting memorial.

Evie’s mum, Laura, said: “As a parent I would like to think in years to come that when children see the bridge they will remember all the crafts they did and family walks rather than the sadness.”

The family live at nearby Strawberry Grange. “We walk down here every day to see what has been added,” said Laura, who also has a son, Lennon, two.

“Lennon is quite mesmerised by them all, it’s lovely.”

Evie, a pupil at Fairfield School, has enjoyed doing crafts during lockdown. She got her pebble from the riverside beach at Double Mills while out walking one day.

“Lots of children have been doing crafts while they’re off school,” said Laura.

“When Evie painted her two stones she wanted to leave them out for people to see. She also left a note asking other people to leave them. It’s just grown and grown.”

Councillor Burns said: “There’s been a great response. It’s lovely that so many people have contributed, they make everyone smile. I’ve got permission for them to be cemented in place and a builder, Andrew Downey, has kindly offered to do the work for us.”