A herb garden is taking shape as green-fingered volunteers dig deep to transform an overgrown area.

More volunteers are needed to help with the community food and plant growing project in Phipps Bridge, Mitcham, taking place this month.

The first of three work days to transform an overgrown planting area into a community herb garden was held on Thursday, August 14, with helpers of all ages getting stuck in.

The project is being run by Dig Merton, a new scheme set up by organisations in the borough including Sustainable Merton, Merton Council, Circle Housing, Merton Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA, and has extended after the success of a project in DeBurgh Road, Wimbledon.

Neighbours living in the area are now looking after the plot and are free to use the food that is growing there.

The communal space now boasts apple trees, pear trees and plum trees as well as colourful bedding plants.

Leader of the council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, said: "Merton has a great tradition of gardening and Dig Merton aims to start greening all parts of our borough.

"This is a partnership project that is community driven, involving people of many different groups as well as individuals, united by a common ambition - to keep Merton a green borough as part of a green city.

"Community food and plant growing is a great way to make the most of unused sites and I’m really impressed with how DeBurgh Road has turned out and how much the local residents there enjoy being part of the project."

The next planting events will take place on Thursday, August 21, Saturday, August 23 and Thursday, August 28, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

They will take place in front of South Mitcham Community Centre in Haslemere Avenue, Mitcham.