A COMMUNITY garden on Padgate Lane is on the way to becoming a site residents 'can be proud of' after it was transformed by a team of volunteers.

The garden had been in a dire state after falling victim to fly-tipping, messy shrubs and overgrown grass.

But around two months ago John Stubbings, who lives within walking distance of the patch, made it his mission to spruce it up.

Volunteers have since been lending a helping hand, with the clean-up day on June 18 proving to be a big success.

Mr Stubbings, 68, has since formed the Friends of Padgate Lane Community Garden group but he said improvements would not have been possible without the selfless work of others in the area.

The Queens Avenue resident added: "The garden looked neglected and I felt it was letting down the community so wanted to do something about it.

"To see people help out and show their support has been fantastic. People have also been waving and sounding their horns when they go past which is nice.

"I will continue to work on the garden to make it into something better which residents can be proud of. This is something I am passionate about.

"I want people to feel like they can come here to sit down and enjoy their surroundings."

The Co-op store, on Padgate Lane, is supporting the group and will continue to do so, with members hoping to organise a number of community events in the next year.

Cllr Tony Higgins, executive board member for leisure, community and culture, voiced his praise for those involved in the 'fantastic' project.

He said: "I'm immensely proud of the newly-formed Friends of Padgate Lane Community Garden team and what members have achieved in this short space of time.

"They have transformed this small community garden into a beautiful and inviting space for all residents.

"Everyone is aware the council is facing unprecedented challenges to the way we deliver services and I'm actively promoting 'friends' groups to help where they can to help support community green spaces.

"We need community involvement and support from businesses, such as the Co-op, which has been very supportive in many community events – this can only be positive for our community."