RESIDENTS in Church can look forward to growing and eating their own fruit and vegetables now that work has begun to transform an abandoned piece of land into a community garden.

The plot, at the back of Devon Place, was previously full of rubble and residents contacted the housing association with concerns of it becoming an eyesore.

Hyndburn Homes teamed up with environmental charity Prospects Foundation and joined forces with the residents to plan a communal growing space.

Work on the project kicked off earlier this week when a digger cleared the area.

Elaine Embley, community investment officer at Hyndburn Homes, said: “Residents have led this project from the offset, and we are using our resources to support them in this fantastic development. It’s great to be working with such enthusiastic tenants who genuinely want to improve the area in which they live.

“The site has so much potential and growing your own fruit and veg is not only healthy but it saves money too. We’re really looking forward to seeing this project flourish.”

Meanwhile, the One Planet Planters – a group of volunteers who carry out community activities in and around Accrington – also stepped in to help.

Hyndburn Homes and the Prospects Foundation then met with the residents to discuss what they would like to grow on the site, and finalise a sketch of the new garden’s design.

A new fence and gates have now been erected and four sessions will follow during which a shed, polytunnel and raised soil beds will be installed, ready for planting to begin. It is hoped that the new garden will be completed by the end of May.

Hyndburn Homes has promised to organise gardening workshops to help tenants develop their growing skills and make the most of the new communal area.

Pauline Ryder, who lives in Devon Place, is one of four residents leading the project.

She said: “We’re all really excited and looking forward to getting involved with the new garden. We’ve already started growing seedlings on our kitchen windows sills ready for planting.”

If you would like to get involved in the new garden, or attend the gardening workshops, please contact Elaine on 01254 300520.