Primary schoolchildren and residents from a Liverpool neighbourhood have worked together to transform a former fly tip into a community allotment and garden.
The site, on Park Road in Toxteth, had become a magnet for fly tippers and rats and had blighted the local community.
Now, thanks to an initiative between housing association, Plus Dane Group, and Liverpool City Council, the site is flourishing, with fruit, flowers and vegetables growing for the benefit of local people.
A colourful mural has been painted by Dingle-based artist Alan Murray while children from Holy Family and Pleasant Street primary schools are enjoying weekly visits to the site to tend to the plants and flowers.
The garden, called Grubby Hands was officially launched during a special ceremony attended by representatives from the local community, Plus Dane and Liverpool City Council, as well as school children.
Julie Tomlinson, Youth Engagement Manager for Plus Dane, said: “This is a great example of partnership working that has seen the transformation of a fly tip into a lovely garden.
“It is providing an outdoor classroom for local schoolchildren and local residents are growing and sharing their own fruit and vegetables. It is really helping to foster a community spirit and we
are delighted with the enthusiasm of people from the surrounding area who have really embraced it.”
Liverpool City Council funded clearance of the land, whilst Plus Dane worked with local residents and schools to encourage them to get involved. Work began last year and also included Plus Dane’s environmental services team who built raised beds and put in benches and picnic tables.
Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet Member for Communities on Liverpool City Council, said: “To see a site that had been deep in rubbish be transformed into such a beautiful, sunny space is fantastic.
“It is also terrific to see children and residents working together to create such a lovely resource and we are hopeful that it will be the first of many in the area.
“In the last year we have brought more than 100 sites back into community use by community gardens, allotment projects, artworks and numerous other imaginative projects and Grubby Hands is a great example of this.”
Christine Dohren, a teacher at Holy Family Primary School, echoed Councillor’s Munby’s comments, saying: “The children really love coming here and it is also very educational as they can experience the growing cycle for themselves. They are also enjoying the fruits of their labour, eating some of the produce they have grown.