‘POCKET park’ funding has helped a group of green-fingered Worcester residents to grow their own crops on a derelict site.

After successfully receiving funds, The Arboretum Residents Association has built an edible garden in Westbury Street Park.

Labour City Councillor, Joy Squires said: “The garden is designed to be enjoyed by everyone, with vegetables and fruit being grown as well as flowers, plants and shrubs. The garden is wildlife friendly too.

"The garden is maintained by a group of volunteers who meet every Thursday morning to do what’s needed. It is a wonderful community asset and much admired by everyone who passes by, as well as those who live in the Arboretum."

Alex Dentith, allotment officer for Worcester City Council said: "We have approximately 900 allotment plots currently being worked on over 20 sites across the city.

"They are very beneficial, both as a form of physical therapy and exercise, as well as for healthy eating and knowing exactly where food comes from and how it is grown."

Part of Worcester City Council’s vision involves a greater use of existing allotments. The initiative is part of a Garden Project organised by the council to encourage healthier living.

The purpose is for residents to consider having an allotment and take responsibility to make the best choices for a healthier and better-quality life.

Tony Davies, a local resident who owns an allotment in Oldbury Road, St John’s, said: “There are 40 plots around here. I have had my allotment for 28 years, it keeps me young. Nothing is better than home grown spuds.”

Conservative Councillor Andy Roberts said: “An arboretum was opened in 1859. As well as fine trees were pleasure gardens with flower beds, terraces, a pavilion and a fountain. They were open to the city’s citizens free of charge on one day per week.”

Another successful garden project is Gheluvelt Park Friends formed in 2003 with a strong membership of 700 people. It is run by a committee of eight and represents 4000 local Barbourne residents.