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Mosaic sign for Hanwell DIG space

Getting communities planting

Fresh air and even fresher vegetables are on the menu at 5 relatively new spots in the borough as Ealing Council’s goal of creating 10 new community growing spaces in the borough hit the halfway mark.

The community growing spaces are part of the council’s wider aims to create more green spaces in the borough and achieve its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Working with the community

The spaces, created by working with local community groups and residents, bring neighbours together, increase people’s time spent enjoying fresh air and exercise and provide a source of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Among the new spaces is the Western Road Urban Garden in Southall. This new local food growing facility has been created by the charity Southall Community Alliance with the help and support of other local groups and organisations. This includes Ealing Council, Southall Transition, Ealing Allotments Partnership, Feeding Ealing and LAGER Can.

Other community growing spaces recently created in the borough include a greening, tree planting and food growing project on the Racecourse Estate in Northolt, supported by Trees for Cities.

As part of a programme of improvements at Dean Gardens, a community garden was created where residents can meet, learn gardening skills and look after the community beds, aided by Cultivating Ealing.

Cultivate London, meanwhile, helped transform a previously underused site in Hanwell into a horticultural hub called DIG (pictured above) now used by local community groups. It was leased to them by the council and the project was part-funded by the council’s Future Ealing fund.

In the summer, the new Popesfield allotment was officially opened, providing around 35 plots for residents to grow their own fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. The new spaces mean the borough now has 45 allotments with more than 3,000 plot holders, making Ealing one of the top boroughs for allotment spaces in London.

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, said: “I am delighted that we are delivering on our promise to create new community growing spaces for residents to enjoy. It is especially satisfying that we are delivering these new spaces by working in tandem with local community groups, social enterprises and residents.

“These growing spaces are brilliant. They bring people of all ages together and get them enjoying the benefits of fresh air, exercise and being part of a community, as well as giving them access to locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables and reducing reliance on high carbon food imports.”

Further community growing spaces projects will be completed next year and available for residents.

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