A new biodiversity project for a local allotment society in Appleby Magna, North-West Leicestershire, will create an even greener environment for the members thanks to funding from IM Properties Mercia Park Community Fund.
Nearly £5000 has been awarded to the organisation to create a communal composting area, to reduce reliance on peat-based products. Equipment is also being purchased to help improve the community orchard and attract more wildlife.
The grants are being primarily directed at projects which strengthen communities or improve the natural environment surrounding IM Properties new junction 11, M42 scheme.
Toby Bird, Secretary of the allotment society said gardening had definitely increased in popularity during the pandemic and people were finding it a useful way to keep fit and boost their wellbeing.
“There’s no better exercise than digging a plot. Going to the allotment and connecting with nature has been really beneficial over the lockdowns and we’re keen to bring these benefits to a wider audience.
“In normal times we are very active in the community and would like to utilise the orchard to have a community apple pressing day, which is a great way for people to connect and have some fun together.
“We also have a good relationship with the local church and primary school. We support the annual fete with a plant and produce stall and we invite the children to come to the allotments and see where fresh fruit and vegetables come from.
“We have a range of ages on the plots, the youngest of which is my son and he’s just nine! During the lockdown he held a sunflower growing competition to help raise people’s spirits.”
IM Properties is committed to delivering sustainable developments across its business. Working in partnership with its occupiers and supply chain it aims to create jobs, skills and training opportunities, in addition to long lasting social value benefits for the local community.
Kerry Amory who works on IM Properties Social Value programme said: “Appleby Magna is a very active community and we are pleased to support this project alongside many others in the community.
“The commitment of organisers like Toby makes a real difference and their enthusiasm and desire to push forward and create new opportunities for local people, makes village life all the more rich.”
The next round of grants is now open for applications. For further information on the Mercia Park Community Fund visit https://www.llrcommunityfoundation.org.uk/apply-for-funds/mercia-park