When we first started the Leigh Neighbours Project and we asked local people what was important to them and what improvements they would like to see, lots of people said that they wanted to see environmental improvements. They noted there wasn’t much green where we are and there were patches of derelict land that were an eyesore.
There are still some areas where we’re trying to work with the Council and landowners to improve (the land on Leigh Road where Silcocks Fair pitches is a good example) but we’re pleased with our progress elsewhere. Have a look and tell us what you think.
Community Garden on Gordon Street
When we first asked people where they would like to see improved many residents told us about the site of the old St. John’s CE church on Gordon Street. It was a mess – a mix of shale, dog waste and an abandoned Christmas tree.
We spoke to the Council who own the land and got permission to create a community garden there. With lots of hard work from volunteers and local residents we created the space that you can see today: what we like to think is a little oasis where children can play, people can spend a leisurely half hour in the summer and families can have a picnic. We’ve even had a couple have their wedding photographs taken there!
Hanging Baskets – Planting Sessions
We realised early on in the life of the project that there were lots of people who didn’t have a garden or any space to grow their own plants and flowers so we decided to try and help by running bi-annual hanging basket workshops. The deal was that if residents brought along their own hanging basket then we’d provide the compost and bedding plants and help them make up their own basket.
We know it works – residents come back year after year and one chap who moved into the area said that one of the things that persuaded him was seeing a line of baskets on Gordon Street.
We make the same offer to local schools – we’ll talk to children about the plants that we’ve got, how to plant, water and look after them and the school gets to look a bit more attractive as a result.
Tribute to the late Derek Cunliffe
We would like to pay tribute to the late Derek Cunliffe, an old friend of Leigh Neighbours and as keen a gardener as you could wish to meet. He had plants in his garden from all over the world which he had propagated from cuttings and seeds collected on his travels over many years.
We first met Derek when he visited one of our Hanging Basket workshops, dispensing gardening tips and plant food in equal measure. Derek won our inaugural ‘In Bloom’ competition in 2016 and could often be seen out tending his plants in rain or shine. His green fingered growing certainly added colour to Findlay Street where he lived.
Rest in Peace Derek.
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