Overgrown trees, bushes and litter on a patch of land near Kettering railway station have been cleared as part of a project to improve community safety in the area.
A group of people required to carry out work as part of the community payback scheme have been cleaning up the land in Station Road and Northfield Avenue every Sunday since the start of June.
It has benefits for the community, for the environment, for the rehabilitation of offenders and improves pride in the areaMartin Hammond
They have been working under the supervision of the Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BeNCH) Community Rehabilitation Company.
The scheme’s aim is to make the site, which is owned by Network Rail and jointly managed with Kettering Council, safer as it has previously been a target for anti-social behaviour.
Residents identified this piece of land as needing improvement and approached Network Rail, who then set up the scheme with the payback team and the council.
David Rose, maintenance protection coordinator at Network Rail, said: “This is a busy road and a lot of people who walk by have commented on what a positive difference this work has made.
“Littering and anti-social behaviour can make areas unpleasant and this is a great example of what team working and community payback initiatives can achieve.”
Martin Hammond, deputy chief executive of Kettering Council, said: “Kettering Council fully supports the excellent work to tidy up this area.
“It has benefits for the community, for the environment, for the rehabilitation of offenders and improves pride in the area.”
Ranjit Samat, community payback Northamptonshire site officer, said a group of about 10 service users worked every Sunday.
He said: “All members of the group are keen to get involved in this very demanding and at times very dirty work.
“The Northamptonshire Community Payback Team is delighted to be able to extend our partnership working with Kettering Borough Council and to embark on further partnership working with Network Rail on behalf of the community of Kettering and Northamptonshire as a whole.”
The work at the site will continue for the coming weeks until the project is completed.
Those carrying out the work will gain employment skills such as ground clearance and general land maintenance while also learning how to work in a team, achieving tangible goals and paying back to the community.
Residents who have suggestions for projects in their local area can find more information by visiting http://benchcrc.org.uk/what-we-do/community-payback/ or calling 01604 658000.