Wandle River Community Garden has welcomed its new addition of a miniature library ready for a book exchange.

The library was built out of recycled materials by local company Stand Builders, who gave their time for free.

People can stop by and leave books in the library that they are finished with and take a different one home to read. Ieva Pazemeckaite, 40, who owns the Bee Creative Art Hub in Merton Abbey Mills is a key member of the volunteers who tend to the garden.

Ieva told the Wimbledon Times: “It was amazing to be honest I didn’t even have chance to share it on our group that the library is done, and the next day I saw books already in there.

“It’s now always full and changing.”

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Ieva says the group hopes to paint the library as soon as the weather remains consistently dry.

She said: “Every time we are planning to start painting the rain comes.

“We are planning to do it next week because it is currently showing three days of no rain, but we will see.”

The plot is owned by Wandle Heritage Charity which looks after the wheelhouse and surrounding area, but they have been unable to keep the garden well-kept because of other duties.

The garden was first made in memory of Paul Bowness, who was the Chairman of Wandle Heritage Trust who died suddenly in 1998, aged 55.

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The volunteers spoke with Wandle Heritage Charity about maintaining the area, and they loved the idea and agreed to allow them to develop this space.

The garden was first cleared out in March 2020 just before Covid hit and has since gone through many changes and additions such as a plant swap station, seating and new plant beds.

Many of the businesses at Merton Abbey Mills are heavily involved with the project.

The aim was to develop a creative space, sanctuary and inspiration for the local community.

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Ieva said: “It’s so lovely because when we are working on this garden so many people are stopping by to chat. We are getting so many ideas to continue growing and we are always open to hear what the community wants and needs.

“I am really happy because it brings together the businesses and community at Merton Abbey Mills.

“The more good you make the more good you attract.”

Wandle River Community Garden team has hosted various events such as second-hand clothing sales and received support from local businesses to gain funding to continue work on the garden.

They hope to develop more of their plans shortly such as planting a tree for the Queen’s Jubilee, hosting educational children's activities, seed swaps, building a bug hotel and fairy garden.

Strand Builders has also offered to build a new bin and signage for the garden.