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VIP launch for Nelson's amazing community garden

The Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle Coun. David Whalley and his wife Barbara with volunteers at the official opening of the Garden Project in Nelson.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle Coun. David Whalley and his wife Barbara with volunteers at the official opening of the Garden Project in Nelson.
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A derelict patch of land in Nelson has been transformed into a beautiful green oasis for the whole community to enjoy.

The Garden Project was officially opened by the Mayor of Pendle Coun, David Whalley in a grand ceremony that was attended by 250 people.

The project in Fleet Street is the brainchild of Bodies in Motion, a charity set up in 2005 by a group of local people who wanted to address the issue of fitness, health and well being for people living in Pendle.

The idea for a community focused garden and greenhouse project was born in 2014 and after Pendle Council donated the land volunteers secured funding from a range of agencies including the Lancashire Environmental Fund and Awards for All.

The idea for the garden came from the late Khawaja Nazir Ahmed who spoke about his family heritage in rural Pakistan and his regret that he never had a garden in England.

And this view was shared by many families living in terraced houses in Nelson with limited opportunities to grow fruit and vegetables.

The seed of that idea grew into the Garden Project which now has 40 gardeners of all ages and abilities , from families and individuals to local groups and nursery children and work colleagues, working on the site.

And amid the tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes and aubergines being grown there is is are also vegetables being grown you usually only find in China and Pakistan.

The site also has a series of poly tunnels, a large storage shed and a meeting centre is being created where Bodies in Motion will host a series of training courses for people to gain qualifications to improve their job prospects.

Shahid Shabbir of Bodies in Motion said the project was living proof of what could be achieved when people get together with an idea,

He said: "The area will become a gathering place to have a brew and learn how to best use the food they are growing.

"We have lots of plans to use this space as a vehicle of change, to improve health, bring peace and create jobs."

Shahid also sent out a big thank you to the numerous organisations, businesses and groups who helped to get the Garden Project off the ground.