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Loxford lockdown gardeners greening up Ilford

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 11 August 2020

A group of residents have revitalised Loxford Park. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

A group of residents have revitalised Loxford Park. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

Archant

A group of gardeners in Ilford have used their time during lockdown to revitalise Loxford Park and have plans to spread the love throughout the area.

The Loxford Gardeners, which came together at the start of lockdown, have cleaned up their park. Picture: Loxford GardenersThe Loxford Gardeners, which came together at the start of lockdown, have cleaned up their park. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

The Loxford Gardeners came together at the beginning of lockdown when, like everyone else, they were stuck in their neighbourhoods a lot more than usual. They wanted to do something to clean up their park.

The litter was getting out of control and two flower beds had dried out and were in desperate need of some help.

This is what the flower bed looked like before the group got involved. Picture: Loxford GardenersThis is what the flower bed looked like before the group got involved. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

A group of people from the Loxford and Clementswood Residents Association and the Loxford Ward Panel started doing litter picks on Saturday mornings and contacted Vision RCL to co-ordinate what else they could do. And the group, which has about 25 members, started from there.

Wajid Ali, one of the organisers, said: “Now more than ever people are walking more and using their local parks so we thought ‘we know what needs to be done, why not just crack on and get it done ourselves?’”

The final product with the plants supplied by Vision RCL. Picture: Loxford GardenersThe final product with the plants supplied by Vision RCL. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

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Vision supplied them with plants for the flower beds and some new planters and the group also cleared some brambles and opened up a walking path which was not accessible before.

They've also created a planter from a donated wheelbarrow. Picture: Loxford GardenersThey've also created a planter from a donated wheelbarrow. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

Wajid said the meet-ups have been a great way to safely bring the community together and everyone from children to elderly residents who have lived in the area their whole lives have got involved.

The group’s next project is to green some of the streets around Ilford Lane by planting more trees and installing planters, if they can get the council’s support.

The gardeners at work on the flower bed. Picture: Loxford GardenersThe gardeners at work on the flower bed. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

They also want to draw from the creativity within the area to get more street art displayed to help revitalise their areas.

Wajid said: “When we first started people were keen to do more and it’s really improved our neighbourhood and got the community together in a really amazing way.”

One member came up with this design which they are they hoping to put up near the volleyball court. Picture: Loxford GardenersOne member came up with this design which they are they hoping to put up near the volleyball court. Picture: Loxford Gardeners

He added that people can start gardening at home by just planting some flowers in their front garden, even in their driveway, and it’s a great way to help the environment and cheer your neighbours up at the same time.

Anyone who is interested in joining or learning more can join the Saturday litter picks at Loxford Park from 9am until 11.30am at the pavilion in Loxford Park or get in touch on Twitter @LCRA1


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