Dig this success!

Couns Jim Talbot and James Churton with Eric Alker

Couns Jim Talbot and James Churton with Eric Alker

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GREEN-FINGERED residents in Hindley are digging for victory after turning a patch of waste ground into a thriving set of allotments.

The keen gardeners who now make up the newly-formed Hindley Community Allotments and Garden Society transformed the land on Belmont Road into an urban green oasis for growing their own fresh fruit, vegetables and salad in just 15 weeks.

The project was around two years in the making after council tenant Eric Alker identified the patch of grassy land as the ideal spot for allotments and teamed up with his friend John Davies to bring other like-minded tenants on board.

The new allotments were officially opened with a ceremony attended by executives from Wigan and Leigh Housing (WALH) and ward councillors Jim Talbot and James Churton earlier this week.

Allotments society secretary Mr Davies said: “Even in the short time we have been active a sense of community has grown both with the members and people living around the site. We know this will flourish and grow in the months and years to come.”

The residents behind the new allotments contacted Wigan Council to obtain a lease on the land and gain planning permission for the new amenity, before filling the space with raised beds, growing spaces, a polytunnel for growing winter veg, a community garden with outdoor lounge area and a potting shed.

WALH chief executive Ashley Crumbley said: “This is a tremendous achievement and one that we have been delighted to be involved with. Not only is this a beautiful space but it’s a really practical one that will enable allotment-holders to grow their own food. We’re sure it’s going to bring a lot of pleasure to the society members and the wider community as well.”

Coun Churton said: “Eric, John and the group have done a fantastic job and they can be rightly proud of the results. This is a great example of what communities can achieve when people and organisations work together.”