Belgrave community garden 042If you like gardening and you’ve got a bit of time to spare on Wednesday, then come along and join in the first dig at the new community garden in Belgrave.

Our Community Development and Sports Development teams have joined forces with residents and some other groups and organisations to turn an unused piece of land off Marlborough Way into an active community garden.

The land – between Tamworth Community Fire Station and St Gabriel’s School – is going to be turned into a community garden, which will be looked after by local residents, with help from the Council, partners and businesses.

It is hoped that as the garden grows and develops, it will include growing areas where residents and community groups can grow their own healthy vegetables, a communal area for people to meet and possibly prepare food and have a focus on keeping active and fit.

The new garden has been in the planning stages for almost a year – but now is the time to pick up a spade and get digging.

There is already a smaller version of the garden at the fire station – which yielded a bumper harvest crop last year.

The first dig at the new garden will take place on Wednesday March 4 at 10.30 – and it is hoped that as many volunteers as possible will come along and help dig deep. Volunteers will be able to get involved in marking out the growing areas and digging over the ground, ready for planting.

If you would like to get involved in the first dig on at the new Belgrave Community Garden, just grab your spade and head down to Tamworth Community Fire Station on Marlborough Way at 10.30am on Wednesday March 4.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a spade, as there will be gardening equipment available for you to use.

A LeesHaving known Councillor ‘Chippy’ Lees long before he was elected in May 2000, I know how big a void his passing will create. Whether it was a ‘kata guruma’ or ‘Osoto Gari’ on the judo mat or a curve ball question in the Council Chamber, it came from the heart and you knew in both cases that he wouldn’t take a step backwards.

A man of few words but great passion and integrity, ‘Chippy’ had a yearning for the ‘good old days’. While some of these views may be frowned upon in the 21st century, they contributed to who ‘Chippy’ was and what was important to him. He was incredibly comfortable with who he was and what he was – always ‘Chippy’ to the staff, never Cllr Lees. He was liked and respected for being straight, honest and unpretentious.

I personally will miss our ‘sparring’……those exchanges that only people who have served in the armed forces understand. There will be those who will miss him for other reasons; he touched the lives of many people in different ways and for different reasons but always as ‘Chippy’.

RIP the little man with a big heart.

Anthony Goodwin, Chief Executive, Tamworth Borough Council

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Nature-loving volunteers from the Wild About Tamworth project and town-based organisation Care First made sure that the birds of the borough were well-housed when they built and erected bird boxes in four nature reserves.

To mark national Nest Box Week, the volunteers built a total of 40 nest boxes to provide a suitable habitat for wild birds. The boxes were then put up at the Local Nature Reserves at Hodge Lane, Tameside, Wigginton Park and Dosthill Park.

The project was led by Wild About Tamworth, which is a partnership between Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

Care First is a Tamworth-based organisation which works with adults with learning disabilities. A group of volunteers and staff from Care First made 24 of the bird boxes, while the rest were put together by Tameside volunteers.

All 40 of the boxes – which were funded by the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme – are now up throughout the four local nature reserves and awaiting their feathered inhabitants.