AN eco-friendly project struck gold at the Southport Flower Show.

Wigan Council's Waste Not Garden – a combined effort from residents, school-children and local authority staff – was deemed to be gold standard by event judges.

Green-fingered volunteers dedicated more than 600 hours to the scheme, using hard materials and waste items that are often seen as unrecyclable.

The garden’s striking centrepiece was a circular tree seat made from empty pop bottles filled with single-use plastics, known as eco-bricks.

Primary school children from across the borough had been tasked with creating the bricks throughout recent months.

The garden’s design was created by the council’s environmental education officer Allison McIntosh and built with the help of colleagues, residents and business partners

Support was provided by waste and recycling contractor FCC Environment.

Leigh Journal:

The Eco-brick bench

Leigh Journal:

The Waste Not Want Garden

Allison said: “I am delighted that everyone’s efforts have seen us land a gold award at the Southport Flower Show.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped make it a fantastic success from the schoolchildren that built an eco-brick to all the council staff and volunteers that helped carry, construct and plant."

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The project's aim was to celebrate all that is done in the Wigan borough to reduce, reuse and recycle and highlight the partnership struck between residents and the council through The Deal.

Also in the garden was a wall made from upcycled pallets featuring an upcycled crate waterfall, lorry tyre wildlife pond, eco-brick seating reclaimed wood fencing and bespoke bird boxes.

There were made using recycled materials by resident and In Bloom volunteer Jim Martlew.

The garden will now be put to good use with parts of it relocated to Alexandra Park and the rest used to create a Rugby Memories Garden at Robin Park Arena.

It will be built by Wigan Warriors Community Foundation.

The creation builds upon efforts in the borough with the latest figures showing recycling rates in 2018/19 hitting 51.5 per cent - higher the national target of 50 per cent by 2020.

Since 2015/16, the borough’s recycling figures have consistently improved and are now almost 10 per cent better than three years ago.

The council has praised the following schools and organisations for the eco-brick building process:

St Peter’s CE Primary, Hindley

Mab’s Cross Primary, Wigan

Willow Grove Primary, Golborne

St Marie’s Primary, Standish

Expanse Learning, Leigh

Youth Engagement Services, Wigan and Leigh

Kildare Grange Sheltered Accommodation residents, Hindley