A CALL to build more community orchards and gardens in the city on the back of a successful scheme in Ronkswood has been enthusiastically backed by the council.

Worcester City Council has made a commitment to locating and developing more community gardens across the city after a successful partnership helped transform Newtown Green into a space of "absolute calm and beauty."

Councillor Tracey Biggs, who led the call, said community green spaces helped improve the physical and mental health of residents, helped tackle social isolation and promoted a strong sense of community.

She called on the council to celebrate the work that had already been done in Ronkswood and look for new spaces to develop.

Cllr Biggs said it was a "tragedy" that life expectancy in Nunnery ward was the lowest in all of Worcester and 12 years lower than those living in St Peter's.

She said finding ways of improving physical and mental health in Ronkswood had often proved "challenging" but through partnership between local volunteers, the city council, Fortis Living, and Worcester Community Trust, the Newtown Green Community Group had built a space of "absolute calm and beauty" which the community could take real pride in.

Cllr Biggs said she hoped the success could be replicated across the city, when speaking at a full meeting of the city council on Tuesday (July 16).

Cllr James Stanley said the council should be “proactive” in working together in partnership and looking for more green spaces to develop.

Cllr Jenny Barnes said small green spaces were just as important as larger parks and were more than just flowers.

She said community gardens could become a real focus point for residents.