WHEN Jan Eckersley starting working at the allotment project on Railway Road in Leigh a year ago there were a lot of negative issues to address.

There were reports of vandalism and vegetables being stolen at the site.

Since then anti-social behaviour has reduced and the allotment has thrived, receiving recognition from Wigan in Bloom.

Jan, vice chairwoman of the Leigh Neighbours Project which runs the allotment, said: “The whole purpose of the allotment is to provide the community with a resource that they wouldn’t otherwise have the time, skills or resource to cultivate, so it’s really our gift to the community."

Food harvested is handed out to people in the town.

Incredible Edible founder Pam Warhurst has also been impressed with the allotment as well as the group's Gordon Street community garden.

The allotment is now more nature friendly and has worked with Leigh Ornithological Society to instal two bird boxes and a bug house.

Bee pollination has also been supported by the planting of flowers and herbs.

The allotment has a big drive on upcycling and recycling too.

One of the upcycling methods implemented is by using old tyres and turning them into garden planters.

Jan added: "There’s the obvious benefits of saving on materials and cutting down on waste and landfill and there’s also the fun that people can have in getting children and families involved in creative crafts.”

The group is also looking for ideas for the allotment and welcome volunteers.

For more information visit lnpb.org.uk.