Neighbours transform rat-infested alleyway into community space

Neighbours transform rat-infested alleyway into community space

October 27, 2020

Cobbled together! Neighbours unite to transform overgrown rat-infested alleyway plagued by dog mess and fly-tipping into vibrant community space with seats, bunting and flower pots

  • Neighbours in Birkenhead, Wirral, transformed an alleyway into a shared garden
  • Weeds, debris and vermin have been replaced with furniture, plants and flowers 
  • Around 20 neighbours spent six weeks transforming the derelict alleyway 

Neighbours have united to transform a rat-infested alleyway that was plagued by dog mess and fly-tippers into a vibrant community space offering a place to sit next to decorate bunting and flower pots. 

Weeds snaked up the wall and abandoned kitchen appliances were scattered around the alley in Birkenhead, Wirral, as neighbours say it was left untouched for years.

But a group of 20 locals decided to intervene, all pitching in to rid it of vermin and dog mess and transform it into a community space, tables and chairs, plant pots and flowers.

Rubbish and overgrown weeds carpeted the cobbled alleyway in Birkenhead, until a group of neighbours decided to transform it into a community space 

After six weeks of hard work, locals from across the community are able to sit and enjoy the alleyway for the first time in years 


The alley had become a dumping ground for disused household appliances, while weeds snaked up the walls of people’s back gardens

Janet Hardman, one of the project’s coordinators, said she was speaking to neighbours for the time, having lived in the area for 22 years.

She said: ‘The alleyway was an absolute mess – there was fly tipping, dog muck, rats, mice and years of overgrown weeds.

‘We got in touch with our local councillor who put us in contact with the Environment Agency and they donated plants and flower boxes so we could put them up.

Janet Hardman, said the transformation means she is speaking to neighbours for the first time since she moved to the area more than 20 years ago

Locals spent six weeks transforming the alley, fitting it with tables, chairs and flowers to enjoy


There’s still plenty of wildlife in the alleyway, but local families and neighbours have managed to bring it under control

‘I started handing out leaflets to the neighbours and had a really good response – about 20 neighbours worked on the project for six weeks every Saturday morning.

‘We’ve all done our part; some people have made bird holders, benches, chairs, hanging baskets and a lot of it has been recycled.

‘We’re now encouraging people to help with the dog muck by installing a plastic bottle with free dog bags so people don’t have an excuse to not pick up after themselves. 

Plant pots line the walls instead of weeds, after the project received donations from the Environment Agency 

Some people helped with the gardening, while others created bird holders and benches for their neighbours to enjoy

Janet Hardman said the neighbours had installed a plastic bottle to be used as a bin for any dog poo, to prevent stop anyone leaving it on the street

The community spirit has been raised through last month’s project, neighbours agreed, after coming out once a week to improve their alleyway

The cobbled alleyway, with mural paintings, is now a community space for all of the residents who worked together on the project and have formed close bonds

Dogs are still welcome to walk the cobbled pathway, but their mess should be cleaned up as locals decided to take back the alley

‘I have lived here for 22 years and as a result of this project, I’m speaking to people that I’ve never spoken to.

‘It’s really lifted the community spirit and now we can go and sit out there and have a chat – it looks amazing and we’re so happy with the results.

‘The alleyway hadn’t been touched for years so there is a big difference.’

Brickwork on local garden walls has been turned into murals to bring a splash of colour 

Homemade bird feeds have been added to the alley in the hope more wildlife could arrive 

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