Community Payback Team Spruce up The Denes

With spring in the air and the lighter night’s now upon us, two of the Denes in Darlington have been spruced up in time for the local community to enjoy.

The Durham Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company’s (DTV CRC) Community Payback Team have been working in the area over the winter getting it ready for use this year.

A team of 95 participants (over 23 days and 665 hours worked in total) have been clearing away shrub areas, self-seeded trees, brambles and basal growth from the trees as a requirement of their sentence plans by giving something back to the local community.

They have also carried out a thorough litter pick through the length of the Denes and have improved the various entrances to reduce anti-social behaviour around the Tennis Dene play equipment.

The Denes is made up of six green spaces forming a major linear park in Darlington.  Following the meandering course of the Cocker Beck, the park provides a range of informal and formal recreation for visitors.  

Play bridges, a bowling green, wildlife and play areas are just some of the attractions that encourage visitors to return every year.

Gordon Wooding of DTV CRC, said: “Work commenced back in November and our participants have done a fantastic job getting the Tennis and Play Denes ready for use.  We have been working closely with the Friends of the Denes and the Council throughout the works and look forward to continuing to do so over the coming year.  

“Unpaid Work is designed to provide men and women with a structured programme and route to re-pay the community for the crimes they have committed.  DTV CRC works in partnership with Local Authorities, community groups, charities and sports clubs to assist in keeping local amenities such as parks and footpaths clear and accessible.  Participants get a sense of involvement but the community are assured as they can see participants undertaking visible work in their area.”

Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure and the Local Environment, added: “The teams have done a great job in the Denes and we look forward to working with DTV CRC, Friends groups and other volunteers to help maintain and improve our green spaces.”

Dave Shotbolt, of Friends of the Denes, said: “Lots of people have commented on how much better the area is and people have been impressed by the teams doing the work and the efforts they’ve made.

“It’s also meant we’ve seen a reduction in vandalism in the area and there’s less dog muck left lying around.”

The unpaid work team will continue with a programme of works at the Denes while carrying out litter picks and path edging throughout the spring and summer months and plan to re-commence scrub clearance in the remaining Denes this autumn.

Release Date: 13.04.2017


Updated on Thursday April 20, 2017.