MORE than 30 people gathered for a community effort to rake up mounds of leaves that were killing off the grass in their local park.

Residents living near Stanhope Park, in Darlington, decided to take matters into their own hands after Darlington Borough Council stopped clearing leaves in its parks in 2011 due to budget cuts.

The resulting piles of dead leaves left on the grassed areas of the park were causing the grass to wilt and die due to a lack of sunlight.

The event was organised by Robin and Sarah Snowden, who sent a flyer to their neighbours to encourage them to take part.

The Snowdens also won the support of the council, which agreed to remove the piles of dead leaves raked together – a task that took StreetScene staff two days due to the amount collected.

Mr Snowden said: “As a consequence of this shared community/council action, I’m pleased to report that Stanhope Park looks 1000 per cent better. Hopefully those areas of grass already affected by sunlight starvation will have a chance to recover.”

The residents would like to thank councillors Ian Galletley and Dot Long, who took part in the clean up, Philippa Scrafton from the council and councillors Tony Richmond and Bill Dixon for making arrangements for the collection.

They would also like to thank Moorlands Care Home and other neighbours for providing refreshments.