ENVIRONMENTAL activists took to the streets this weekend to spread their message with a piece of pop up theatre.

Members of Darlington Climate Action Group (DCAG), formed in January, presented their environmentally-themed performance various locations including outside Darlington Town Hall and the town centre’s Market Hall.

Performers used a variety of native forest trees and large cardboard houses to share their message about how housing developments being constructed in greenspaces is impacting the environment by destroying trees.

The group is made up of representatives of environmental organisations, community groups, and individuals from across Darlington.

The theatre piece was written by DCAG member Paul Harman, who also starred in the performance.

“When we build a house, when we kill a tree – we are freeing carbon to heat the planet,” Mr Harman said.

“It takes a lifetime for a tree to take in one tonne of carbon from the air. Building one house makes 80 tonnes of carbon.That’s 80 trees.”

Co-ordinator of the DCAG, Kendra Ullyart said that the performance hoped to raise awareness locally over Darlington Borough Council’s future plans to increase housing in the area, and generate public support to oppose the proposed developments, especially the sites proposed to be built over the borough’s green spaces.

“Our council are proposing to increase housing by 33 per cent but Darlington‘s population is only estimated to increase by two per cent,” she said.

“We are concerned about the over development of our town and the amount of carbon this will add to the atmosphere. Thousands of houses are planned, devastating farmland and green spaces including the Skerningham Community Woodland which was once listed as the ‘Jewel in Darlington’s Crown’ ."

Roz Henderson, coordinator of the Darlington Forest Project, said: “Darlington trees are the lungs of our town to provide us clean air, help to prevent flooding and provide a home for our wildlife.

“Tree cover in Darlington is only ten per cent compared to 13 per cent across the country. We need to plant more trees as well as protect the trees we have.”

For more information visit the group’s Facebook page.