AN innovative environmental project which has created 80 new street gardens in Bootle is set to expand this summer.
40 new households in the so-called ‘Poets Streets’ area of the town are joining the Community Growing Circle project set up last year by the Taking Root in Bootle community gardening network.
This was launched with the help of a grant from the Liverpool City Region Community Environment Fund, established by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.
The expansion is being funded by a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Together for our Planet programme.
The aim of the Community Growing Circle project is to link at-home food growing by local households with community composting facilities in the area to create a circular green ‘loop’.
Members who joined the scheme in 2021 were delighted recently when they collected the compost that they had all made over the last year, enabling them to start the circle again this season.
Each household taking part in the project receives a starter kit for growing fruit and vegetables in front of their terraced home, and a caddie for collecting and transporting raw food waste to the community compost bins.
Organisers say that the creation of 120 mini growing sites along terraced house fronts in Bootle is increasing biodiversity, supporting a variety of invertebrate wildlife, providing a mix of fruit and vegetable flowers for pollinators and substantially increasing resting points for bees and other insects.
Other benefits include plant absorption of water during periods of heavy rain, and heat in the summer, in what are heavily paved and built-up areas.
Ruth Livesey of Bootle-based social enterprise Regenerus, who co-ordinates Taking Root, said:?“The first year of the Community Growing Circle in 2021 was a big success so we’re delighted to be able to expand the project with the help of the National Lottery this year.
“The circular approach we have developed in Bootle is designed to highlight the food and waste possibilities that exist in small spaces.
“By using unlikely growing spaces in front of residents’ homes we are enhancing biodiversity and creating greener communities.
“At the same time, we’re demonstrating how growing at home and community composting can help to reduce food miles, packaging and waste, and provide families with delicious fresh produce on their doorstep.”