Eyesore’ land to be turned into Leeds community garden

Volunteers working on the community garden
Volunteers working on the community garden
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Work on a community garden at unused land next to St Stephens’ church in Kirkstall is currently underway – with plans to open the space to residents for the first time at the end of the summer.

It is hoped that St Stephen’s Well Community Garden will be used as a leisure facility for families, with plans to hold barbecues and picnics, as well as a place for growing vegetables.

There are also plans for a wildlife zone, with flowering and fruit plants to attract butterflies, birds and small mammals.

Mandy Long, chairwoman of the community garden project and a locally renowned artist whose sculptures have been displayed at Leeds Town Hall, said she was pleased to see the renovation was finally underway.

She said: “The project has been on my mind for a few years. The piece of land was an eyesore, and it became increasingly apparent that as a community we needed to do something about it.

“Soon we had the support of St Stephen’s church and a small group of people in the local area who remain committed to this project”.

One of these people is Steven Rennie, the secretary for the project.

He said: “Like everybody else involved at the moment, my job in the early renovation mainly involves digging up the land. I’ve been involved with the project for a while now, having lived over the road from the church yard. It was a scruffy piece of land that was a problem, and I’m happy a group of us are helping make it into a green hub for the local residents.”

At the moment, more people are being urged to volunteer.

Mandy Long said: “All help is very welcome. At the moment jobs we need a helping hand with include grassing over areas and helping complete the designated wildlife areas, but there are tasks on hand for people of all abilities.

“We would also like to build an eco-friendly green shed for the garden, so we need someone with skills who can take the lead on the building of that project. However, we would love it if as many people from the area came to help us as possible - we’ve got tasks to suit everybody’s needs, big and small. It’s a fun way of getting to know the people in the local community, as well as helping create something that we hope will remain here for generations to come.”

For more information on how to get involved with the project, email mandylong2013@gmail.com or attend one of the fortnightly meetings at St Stephen’s Church Hall on Morris Lane in Kirkstall. Dates for the fortnightly meetings will be posted on the church gates next to the garden upon announcement.

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