Volunteers and students working together to improve green spaces in Norwich

Gardeners from various community groups get together as the new Norwich Growing Communities Partners

Gardeners from various community groups get together as the new Norwich Growing Communities Partnership, and receive seed packets to start off for City College students to grow. From left, front, Pam Frost, Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces; Jo Chiddick, St Stephen's. Churchyard; Sue Pike, and Lynne Dingle, Norwich Volunteer Gardens. Back, Reg Chiddick; George Ishmael, Heavenly Gardens; and Roy Holmes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Green-fingered volunteers are joining forces with students to bring new plant life to Norwich.

The Norwich Growing Communities Partnership will see more than 60 varieties of plants from thousands of seeds grown at City College Norwich and people's homes.

Participants are being encouraged to grow the seeds in module plug trays before they are planted in near housing and roads, as well as in gardens, parks and community spaces.

Terry Bane, horticultural and funding officer for Norwich City Council, said: 'Planting and gardening is Britain's number one hobby. It is good to see the youngsters get involved. There will be hundreds of thousands of seeds which will be distributed.

'We thought growing seeds in module plug trays would be a bit of a challenge and a good way for people to network.

'It would also be a good way of reintroducing people to the art of sowing seeds.'

He added: 'The plants will be good for biodiversity and attract wildlife.'

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The partnership has been funded by about £400 from the city council.

It includes Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces, Heavenly Gardens, St Stephen's Church volunteers, Friends of Norwich in Bloom, Friends of Jubilee Park, NR2 Community Gardening Project, the Conservation Volunteers and people involved with outdoor spaces at the train station and City Hall.

People from different groups can sow seeds in their own homes and grow seedlings until they are large enough to handle, when they will be transported to City College Norwich.

They will then be cared for by students.

Once the plants are fully grown groups involved in the project can have a share of the plants to put around public areas of Norwich.

These include summer and autumn bedding and basket plants, herbaceous perennials, native wildflowers, hanging basket plants and tomato plants for schools, and herbs.

It is a pilot project and Mr Bane hopes the project's biodiversity benefits will be visible over the next four-five years time.

Pam Frost, from Lakenham and Town Close Green Spaces, said: 'It is about making different areas more attractive for everyone.'

This includes more deprived areas of Norwich.