Employees from Newton Aycliffe’s Husqvarna dedicated their working day to the area around Darlington’s Cocker Beck giving it a much-needed makeover this month.
The area, which was chosen by Husqvarna staff to benefit from its Husqvarna Loves Parks initiative, quickly saw an improvement as a total of 28 volunteers got hands on in clearing the area.
Husqvarna outdoor power tools, including riders, chainsaws and brushcutters were put to the test, as specially trained staff members got to work in clearing the debris.
A park bench which previously hadn’t been seen for five years due to overgrown grassland was unearthed and brought back to life, as well as one of the park’s ornamental stone archways.
The team also widened the walk ways and spent time getting their hands dirty, collecting around 20 bags of litter, making the area much more usable and attractive to the local community and its visitors.
At the beginning of the year, Husqvarna partnered with Darlington Council and asked its staff to vote for a local park or green space which they thought was in desperate need of regeneration.
Cocker Beck received 39% of the overall votes, out of the four shortlisted parks put forward by the council, and staff from the Aycliffe factory, including sales and marketing director Ken Brewster, HR director Anne Marie Gardener and manufacturing director Caraline Robinson all dedicated their time and got involved.
Commenting on the day, Caraline said: “As a company, we feel it’s important to give back to our local community in anyway that we can, and helping to regenerate a popular habitat such as Cocker Beck seemed a great way for Husqvarna to give back.
“It’s been fantastic to see so many staff come out in force to dedicate their time to keeping the green spaces on their doorsteps clean, tidy and more habitable for wildlife.”
Cllr Nick Wallis, Darlington Council’s cabinet member for leisure and the local environment, said: “We’re delighted that we were chosen to benefit from the Husqvarna Loves Parks initiative and it’s great that so many of the company’s staff volunteered their time to help.
“With pressure on the council’s resources continuing, we are immensely grateful to them and all the other volunteers – individuals, Friends groups and businesses – who help us look after our green spaces that make Darlington such a great place in which to live, work and visit.”
Husqvarna is passionate about caring for green spaces, and the “Husqvarna Loves Parks” project is a global initiative born of that passion.
Since the effort began, staff members have used Husqvarna products to improve natural areas in Australia, the Netherlands and Charlotte, North Carolina.