A CAMPAIGN is calling on people to take on gardening and environmental projects to improve their health and wellbeing.

Growing Communities invites those living in disadvantaged areas to involve themselves in schemes such as planting trees and digging ponds in “green gyms”, environmental projects and community orchards.

They are also encouraged to try out sporting activities or food-growing programmes utilising disused or redundant patches of land.

Residents in Northbrook in Worthing and Eastbrook in Adur have been chosen for the project.

In Eastbrook people will be asked what should be done with a fenced garden area near Eastbrook Manor community centre.

In Northbrook residents will discuss establishing a community apple orchard.

The scheme is backed and part funded by Adur and Worthing Councils who will also give park ranger time to it.

A team of officers working for national charity The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) will run the project.

Studies have shown exposure to green spaces, particularly in urban environments, can play a significant part in promoting good physical health and mental wellbeing.

The first launch event takes place at Northbrook Barn tomorrow from 11am to 2pm and the second at Eastbourne Manor community centre on Sunday between the same times.

Growing Communities operation leader John Haigh said: “We have already had a great response and so many ideas from the people we have spoken to.

“I would urge as many people as possible who live in Northbrook and Eastbrook to come along and find out what we could make happen over the next three years.

“There’s no obligation but we hope people will be inspired by what they see and hear.”

The TCV team is setting themselves a target of talking to at least 20 per cent of the populations of both wards.

This works out at about 1,250 people.

The aim is to find out the sorts of schemes the communities want and then supporting them to bring their ideas to life.

Adur District Council’s member for health and wellbeing Dave Simmons said: “I wish TCV and local residents good luck as this scheme gets under way.

“The council will help in any way we can because the benefits for health and for our environment are clear.”

Other activities can include wildlife walks and walking football sessions.

The project was able to go ahead after Adur and Worthing councils and TCV made a successful bid for £660,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.