VIDEO: Morecambe's Beautiful Back Alleys project

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A group of volunteers are on a mission to transform Morecambe’s back alleys into colourful community gardens.

The Beautiful Back Alleys project, set up by Coun Margaret Pattison, aims to improve neglected alleyways across the town.

Councillor Margaret Pattison (centre) with volunteers from the Beautiful Back Alleys project.

Councillor Margaret Pattison (centre) with volunteers from the Beautiful Back Alleys project.

The group hope to cover all 64 alleys in Morecambe – transforming them into a place which their owners and neighbours can enjoy.

“When I was a little girl I lived in Overton and I used to come down to Morecambe on a weekend with my mum and I remember Morecambe being blooming, hanging baskets, beautiful flowers, I want it to be like that again,” said Margaret, councillor for Heysham North ward.

Margaret was inspired to set up the group after a man set to clear his back alley of weeds himself.

“He sent me pictures and it was spotless, you could eat your dinner off the alley,” she said.

“I thought next year I will form a group and we will do this project.”

The group of volunteers, Lee Reevell, Rita Gerrard, Charmaine Rothwell, Penny Thresher, will be applying for community funding for the project.

David Redmore, landscape architect, is also joining the group, offering expert advice and tips.

The team have set up a joint back account and are already receiving donations from local businesses.

“Most of the project will be volunteer led however, Dave Vickers from Lancaster City Council environmental health is going to support us in getting the alleys cleared,” said Margaret.

“This will be great because when we get there our volunteers can just come onto a clean canvas.”

Cedar Street alleyway is the first to be chosen from the entries – which are submitted to the group by postcode and chosen at random.

Jean Sharp has lived on Cedar Street for 17 years and can’t wait for the team to get started.

“It’s great news because the alleyway is very neglected, nobody seems to look after it,” said Jean.

“I tried doing bits but when there is only one of you it’s difficult. My neighbour Trina sent our postcode to the group and we were surprised it was the first one drawn out.”

Jean would like the alley to be turned into a haven for wildlife.

“We would like anything that attracts wildlife because a few neighbours have got a children and it would be nice to see them interact with wildlife on their doorsteps, which is pretty hard to do in the middle of a town,” she said.

The group has to acquire permission from the residents before they set to work.

If you would like to volunteer or submit your alleyway then call Margaret Pattison on 07896916216 or email mpattison@lancaster.gov.uk.