Gaunless Bridge, believed to be the site of the first iron railway bridge in the world, has had a clean-up to preserve the scheduled monument.
Workers cleared up Gaunless Bridge - part of the Stockton and Darlington Scheduled Monument - to improve the look of the historic site.
The initial work involved the removal of litter and graffiti and the trimming back of undergrowth by Durham County Council's Civic Pride and clean and green teams, with representatives from the Environment Agency clearing up the section of the River Wear near the site.
The bridge, believed to be the first iron railway bridge in the world, is now on display at the National Railway Museum in York, but the original abutments remain in place in West Auckland.
However, in recent years, the abutments and surrounding area have been subject to vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
In response, the Friends of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone, which aims to rejuvenate and restore the historic railway in the build up to its bicentenary in 2025, have been working with the local community to look at ways to improve the area.
Cllr John Clare, who represents Durham County Council on the Stockton and Darlington Heritage Action Zone, said: "The Gaunless Bridge abutments are a part of the Stockton and Darlington Scheduled Monument so are of national significance. It is, therefore, incredibly important that we do all we can to preserve and protect them and the surrounding area.
"Our ambition is to make the site a place that the whole community can access and enjoy, including as a stop off on the Stockton and Darlington Railway walking and cycling route.
"This clean-up is a significant step towards developing the area for that purpose."
A dedicated Rail Heritage Board has been set up to oversee the Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage programme and Heritage Action Zone.
Members include Durham County Council, Darlington Borough Council, Stockton Borough Council, Tees valley Combined Authority, A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, National Railway Museum, LNER, Network Rail, Northern Railway, Historic England and the Friends of the Stockton and Darlington Railway.