Southall volunteers transform Western Road dumping ground into community garden

A derelict piece of land that was a hotspot for fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour is being brought back to life by a group of volunteers in Southall.

Southall Community Alliance (SCA) has partnered with Ealing Council to create the Western Road Urban Garden, a space for local residents to help grow and share fresh food.

The group has cleared the two-acre site of rubbish, overgrown weeds and drug needles and have made the first steps in planting an orchard and vegetable gardens for the community.

Seeds of change: volunteers have cleared the former dumping ground and have made the first steps in planting a community orchard and vegetable garden.

SCA manager Janpal Basran said: “We want to turn this place into an oasis of green in an otherwise grey, urban area.

“We might come into a generation in a few years’ time who have little experience of greenery around where they live. We want to counter that.

“We want to promote the urban garden as a facility for all, where people can learn and connect with nature.”

Feeding Ealing director and Ealing Transition chair Mani Dhanda is helping to build a large polytunnel on the site which will provide freshly grown food all year round to Ealing’s food banks.

He said: “We need to grow more food locally. We will grow that food and donate it to food banks and charities.”

The volunteers’ vision is to create a tranquil, educational space for local residents and transform the site into a green sanctuary at the heart of the Southall and Ealing community.

Polly Knewstub, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for thriving communities, said: “This piece of land has been out of use for far too long. I am pleased that we, in partnership with the Southall Community Alliance, are taking steps to bring it back to community use.

“I strongly encourage local residents to come along and volunteer their time, enthusiasm and expertise to help make this a great space for everyone to enjoy.”

Community growth: Janpal Basran (far right, bottom) and Mani Dhanda (far left) dug deep with volunteers to remove rubbish from the site.

Get Involved

There is a regular volunteer drop-in session every Wednesday from 11am-2pm. Email Janpal at [email protected] to get involved.

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Jags Sanghera
Jags Sanghera
12 July 2023 10:03 am

Fantastic to see the video. After some years of looking this site as an opportunity the team have done a fantastic job. Keep up the good work.

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