Conkers used to pay for parking in Leeds and Manchester

The scheme was devised as a way of offsetting some of the emissions released as drivers travelled to the car parks

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A 'bonkers' scheme to allow motorists to pay for city centre parking by using conkers is set to be extended.

The exchange, at three car parks in Leeds and Manchester, started on Monday and has so far received 1,500 conkers - worth £300 in parking fees.

It was devised as a way of offsetting some of the emissions released as drivers travelled to the car parks, Town Centre Car Parks (TCCP) said.

All conkers will be donated to Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve, Leeds.

Horse chestnuts are valued at 20p each and can be exchanged for parking at up to a value of £10.

'Kids' autumns'

Ben Ziff, from TCCP, said: "I was looking at our figures on what we have taken on conkers and it seems to be quite high, a lot more than we were expecting.

"Initially we were only going to run it for a week, but we're now definitely planning on extending the scheme."

Jonathan Leadley, from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said: "Conkers used to be a central part of kids' autumns. This has sadly declined along with our connection with nature.

"This fantastic, but slightly bonkers idea will raise the profile of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's wonderful woodlands and hopefully raise a bit of cash to help us look after them."

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