Bill Wallace, aged 69 years old, moved to Pendleton in Salford over 40 years ago. He first heard of Lower Kersal Community Allotment in 2016 through his wife Annie but was reluctant to get involved. Once his wife persuaded him to attend, he quickly began to love it, learning lots of different skills and knowledge related to food growing.

“Growing stuff has just gotten to me, and I love it. We’re here every week. I’ve learnt a lot, and through that knowledge I’ve also taught a lot of other people”

“I’ve learned how to plant corn, for example, because you have to plant them in a certain way so that they cross fertilise. We have discussions about what went well and what didn’t. I love cooking as well, so what we harvest we make into soup and stews, and we bring it along to see what others think of it”

Since joining the group, Bill has seen an improvement in his mental health and others in the group too.

“I’ve seen a huge improvement to all our mental health, and that really came through during those Covid times. One of the things that we were allowed to do when the rules were relaxed was to come here in pairs. It just showed you how important nature is, because you could feel the soil again and nurture the saplings”

Earlier this year, Groundwork teamed up with WWF to showcase community screenings of ‘David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet’, with members from the Lower Kersal group arranging a screening. The documentary inspired Bill to really think about nature and the impact of humans in the UK and beyond.

“I think flora and fauna throughout the world is so important. We as human beings have taken too much from this planet. Nature doesn’t care about us, but we have to care about nature, because without it we’ll lose everything! I fear for the animals and nature in India, where I’m originally from, because we’re encroaching in their place. Extinction of species is happening, but we don’t see much of it in Britain”

To find out more about the group and how you can get involved, check out our video: