Gardening project grows

2016-07-26 06:00
Ward 78 councillor Eddie Andrews hands over equipment to establish a community vegetable garden to the residents of Guernsey, Dexter and Angus closes in Westridge.

Ward 78 councillor Eddie Andrews hands over equipment to establish a community vegetable garden to the residents of Guernsey, Dexter and Angus closes in Westridge.

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A group of Westridge residents are taking back their open spaces by converting dumping hotspots into vegetable gardens.

And after a grant of additional supplies from local council, they are now better equipped to see their gardens flourish.

On Tuesday 19 July Westridge residents received gardening equipment from ward councillor Eddie Andrews to assist in the converting of the dumping hotspot into a vegetable garden.

After observing dumping in the parks at the end of Guernsey Close, Jonathan Cottle approached Andrews for assistance. “I have been living here for 16 years and the dumping was just going on and on,” says Cottle. “The council used to collect the dirt once every week or second week, which was good, but I thought we should do something here.”

The large open land at the end of the close has been a dump site for several years, he admits. “I wanted to start a garden with the children, but I had no knowledge because I never gardened before,” he says.

They have since held a community meeting and established a gardening committee. Poles, fences and gates have been erected. “We have already planted some trees and we will replant them into the garden by August or September,” he says.

Around 30 children have already joined Cottle in the project. “This is a big park and some of the people living around it say there was never anything to interest the children here. [The committee] will look at what can be done at the park because there are only trees, long grass and sand.”

His aim is an upliftment project and says the children and community have already taken ownership of the project. Cottle secured commitment from the community to assist in the establishment of the garden and Andrews approved the request.

On Tuesday Andrews handed over a wheel barrow, rakes, spades, a hosepipe and a sprinkler to the group, and thanked the community for partnering with the City.

He further conveyed his appreciation and welcomed assistance from the community in addressing the social ills. In addition to the establishment of the garden Andrews appealed to community to come forward and report people dumping rubbish in the park.

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