AN abandoned war memorial site in Nelson has been given a makeover thanks to a community group.

The site, in Holme Street, was overgrown with weeds and being used as a dumping ground for rubbish when bloom volunteers moved in last October.

Nelson in Bloom has worked with two local primary schools, St John Southworth and Walverden, to transform the area into a peaceful community garden.

The back wall at the site has also been turned into a stunning mural, designed by Wes Hall from local firm Bright Red Rose, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Yvonne Tennant, secretary of Nelson in Bloom, said: “It looks fantastic. It’s a great place to chill out now. We’ve painted the benches bright colours to try to make it a more relaxing place to go. It is away from the road and can be very peaceful.

“When we started in October it was full of weeds and rubbish.

“The war memorial was moved in 1998 and nothing has really happened to this site since.”

Children from St John’s Southworth have created a vegetable garden on the site, and Walverden pupils have created a floral display celebrating 50 years of Britain in Bloom.

Yvonne said: “We were painting the back wall white when Wes spoke to us about it and came up with the design, and it looks brilliant.

“We’re delighted with how the site has turned out. We want to try to reclaim old heritage sites within the town.”

Nelson in Bloom was only founded 18 months ago, and last week Britain in Bloom judges visited the town for the first time.

“They were very positive,” said Yvonne. “We’ve only just started so we don’t expect to be winning things just yet – groups such as Colne and Barnoldswick have been going for years.”