Neighbours from Litherland transform their overgrown alleyway into an amazing community garden

It all started during the lockdown, when the residents of Rufford Road, Jenny and Helen setup a Facebook group to keep an eye on their neighbours, making sure everyone was OK during this worrying time.

Realising how little outside space they have whilst working from home and seeing how much potential space was going to waste in the alleyway.

The residents decided to give the alleyway a new lease of life and started to transform it into a community garden for all the residents to enjoy.

After getting in touch with their local councillors to help with the removal of the bulky waste and rubbish, the resident set about pressure-washing and weeding the cobbles before putting out garden furniture and planters.

The cobbled alleyway now hosts puppet shows, swing ball competitions, board games and even socially distanced toasted marshmallow evenings. 

The space has been decorated with bunting and garland lights, along with hanging baskets, colourful flower pots and Miss Hurst their very own seagull scarer.

They’ve also started to grow their own produce, such as strawberries, chillies, coriander and mint.

Jenny McKechnie, Rufford Community Garden Said: “When we started this the alleyway was full of fly-tipping, we had couches, hoovers and washing machines, but within less than two months we’ve managed to get the alleyway all cleaned.

“It’s a lovely safe space for the children to play in and the children love playing out here.

“Having the community garden keeps the alleyway clean and safe, so you can enjoy the space we’ve created as well as your own backyard, knowing that the alleyway is clean.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:   We are really delighted to see what an amazing job the community has done in Rufford Road.

“The residents have worked with the Council, turning what was an ugly alleyway, filled with rubbish and weeds, into a wonderful community space, where everyone can enjoy and help bring the community together.

“The residents have used their time in lockdown to create something special and have been able to make some fantastic friends along the way.

“I would also like to say a big well done to everyone involved in making this community garden possible”

Cllr John Kelly, Sefton Council’s Ward Member for Litherland Said: It great to see some many residents taken control over the rear of their properties.” 

“We will help the resident as much as we can in cleaning up their alleyways, with the resources we have within the area, but ultimately, it’s down to the residents to take control and look after their alleyways.”

Helen Davis Taylor, Rufford Community Garden Said: “I would highly recommend anyone thinking of transforming your alleyway.

“Speak to your neighbours and try to encourage as many households to get involved and create a great community space.

“It’s an excellent way to get to know your neighbours and make new friends.”

Rufford Road Community Garden has set up an Instagram page to share tips and inspire others to get outside and clean up the Alleyway spaces – you can see more at https://www.instagram.com/ruffordcommunitygarden/