A TEAM of Island Roads volunteers — equipped with paintbrushes — have given Needles Old Battery a fresh lick of paint.

For the fourth year running ­— through the company’s volunteering scheme ­— staff donated their time to support the National Trust in maintaining one of the Island’s most important historic sites.

Build in 1862 to defend the western Solent from a feared invasion by the French that never materialised, and active during both World Wars, the National Trust acquired the site in 1975.

To keep the battery in good order and open to the public between March and October each year, the trust carries out a comprehensive maintenance programme, and welcomes extra hands.

The team painted the Cartridge Store, Shell Store entrance, Royal Engineers' Room and Northern Position Finding Cell, and tackled the narrow underground tunnel leading to a searchlight room overlooking the Needles.

“We have a long list of jobs to do to preserve the fort’s history and keep it open to the public, so the support we receive is really welcome," said National Trust property operations manager, David Metcalfe.

"We would like to thank Island Roads for their continued support and hard work of their volunteers who always do their tasks with enthusiasm and a smile.

"We hope to see them again next year when we celebrate 125 years of the National Trust."

As part of the Island Roads volunteering scheme, the company encourages employees to take two paid days off each year to support local good causes.

“Having visited the Old Battery as a paying customer in the past, it was satisfying to return as a volunteer to support part of the Island’s heritage loved by visitors and residents alike," said Iain Thornton, streetworks manager at Island Roads.

“We’re lucky to be able to donate our time through the Island Roads volunteering scheme ­— it’s very rewarding to support organisations in our community in need of help."

Although the Needles Old Battery is currently closed to visitors, its 1940s-themed tea-room remains open throughout the winter.