BUSINESSES have competed with each other to commit volunteering hours to improve the parks in Darlington.

The Darlington Cares' Great Park Auction saw the auction of four parks to the town's businesses, who will work with their employees to help rejuvenate the green areas.

The auction, held on Thursday evening and hosted by Peter Barron, saw four Darlington Cares' members commit a total of 2,135 employee volunteering hours to working with the Darlington parks.

Cummins pledged 465 hours to Eastbourne Park, EE donated 750 hours to The Denes, Darlington Building Society offered 500 hours to North Lodge Park and Capita volunteered 420 hours to Green Park.

Seth Pearson, Darlington Cares' director said: "This is an excellent opportunity for our members to get involved with their local community and work together, with their employees, to develop the parks for the public.

"An astonishing number of volunteering hours were pledged at the event and we can't wait to see what the companies can achieve over the next few months."

The businesses will work alongside their respective park's Friends group and Darlington Parks' Ranger, Pippa Smaling, to come up with a creative project that will benefit the local community.

The members' employees are going to be working on their park throughout the Summer months, and a judging of the transformation of the parks will take place at the end of August.

"With 16 parks in the town, it's important that we take care," added Mr Pearson,