FAMILIES battled a 'bramble jungle' at the first work party to transform a neglected plot of land into Oxford's new Children’s Allotment.

The green team got to work on Sunday to tackle the overgrown plot at the East Ward Allotments off Cricket Road.

The run-down space was used in a previous life as a plant nursery but over the past decade became overgrown and useless.

Now the newly-formed Children’s Allotment community action group hope to turn this around to create an outdoor education space for children, after-school clubs, fun days and workshops to learn about growing food.

Alice Hemming – the brains behind the project – said within hours the team made strides towards clearing the site.

She said: “It was our very first work party and it went well. It started as one huge bramble jungle but everyone has been out with their secateurs and tools and made an amazing difference.

“The team of volunteers have included friends and family, plus lots of local parents from the community who really want this space for the children.

“I didn’t expect to get as many people as we did.”

Ms Hemming had a plot at the East Ward allotments herself and noticed the abandoned space.

Seeing it potential, the 30-year-old got in touch with Oxford City Council and for two years persistently urged them to consider the project.

The authority finally agreed to lease the site a peppercorn rent to the community action group for the next 10 years.

Plans now involve clearing the entire plot which includes an indoor cabin, polytunnels and an orchard of apples trees.

It is hoped it can then be transformed into a space for children aged between one and four years old as a full-time childcare co-op scheme.

Volunteer and mum-of-one Louise Hazan from East Oxford said: “It is all too easy to plonk children in front of a TV so any opportunity to have the space to get them outside is welcome.”

For more details on future working party dates and the project see facebook.com/childrensallotment