At the start of December, volunteers and residents joined council park rangers, school children, councillors and even police officers, for a tree planting event in Southall Park. The Southall Orchard Project is being led by the Southall Transition group in partnership with Ealing Council and the Tree Council. It has seen the old rose garden in the park, which had become little more than grass and soil, transformed into an outdoor larder for the community to use and look after. There are nine fruit-bearing trees, surrounded by hedges bearing berries and nuts.
One of the Southall Transition volunteers, and local resident, Jags Sanghera said: “We had a great turnout of people – from five-year-olds to 85-year-olds – despite the windy conditions. It was a job well done and the leader of the council Julian Bell was there, too.
“Our local business supporter Subway, from Southall High Street, donated £1,000 to the project. through our online ‘Spacehive’ fundraising project.”
Another volunteer, Mani Dhanda, said: “I thought it was a brilliant idea to plant more trees, especially fruit trees. They will be of manifold benefit to the community.”
The organisers are hoping to expand the scheme to four more open spaces in Southall in the near future.