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Down in the garden

The recent weekend sunshine attracted a bumper crop of visitors and volunteers to a hands-on day creating the first community garden in Worthing.

Local resident Hille Cook who started the Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden Sanctuary project said support from landowner Worthing Homes was a vital boost for the area and wildlife. She said: “There are thousands of community gardens in the UK and now we can start the first one in Worthing.”

Tim Loughton, East Worthing and Shoreham MP, praised the work as a fantastic volunteering project for bringing a desperately needed green space back to life. He said: “It’s a way of relaxing, a way of getting some decent education: far too many of our children don’t know where food comes from or about the natural habitat. It’s also brought the community together.”

Two local film networks were on hand to film activities in the garden. Director James Lane of new Worthing-based Arc Film Network chose the Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden Sanctuary for their inaugural documentary. Arc Film Network’s film will be broadcast later in 2011.

Transition Town Worthing (TTW) also filmed the day for a series of online films to explore of rebuilding communities with active community participation. Producer Steve Last (TTW) said: “There was a great feeling on the day, a real hands-on community project.”

Work days in the garden happen every month and as well as people-power, the project is looking for sponsorship and donations of wheelbarrows, tools and wildlife-friendly plants to plant later in the year. For more information, visit the Cortis Avenue Wildlife Garden Sanctuary on Facebook, or contact them directly using the details below.