WORK to transform a Rainhill grass wasteland into a communal garden is starting to make visible progress.

The volunteer-driven project, which is the culmination of over a year’s planning and fundraising, is moving forward with diggers now working on the hard landscaping at the site behind the shops on Exchange Place.

The venture aims to transform the area into a place for people to relax and to become a meeting place for events in the village as well as a haven for wildlife.

Following initial meetings in 2012, the Rainhill Environmental Community Organisation (ECO) was launched to drive the project to transform the area.

And volunteers from the Rainhill ECO group have been getting their hands dirty helping out with work on the garden including the planting of hedging plants donated by the Woodland Trust.

The finished garden will include a human mosaic sundial which has been created by Longton Lane Primary School, working in creative workshops with artist Bernadette Hughes.

In addition, another artist Adrian Moakes has run a number of community workshops and is currently designing a piece of sculptural work for the garden.

The project’s emphasis is on sustainability, with much of the garden being built from recycled or refurbished material.

Funding has been received from various organisations including a £20,000 grant from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste authority.

"It has all been driven by the Rainhill ECO Group and the majority of materials used will be recycled which is why we were successful with the Merseyside Waste grant," said Councillor Joe DeAsha, of Rainhill Parish Council.

"There will be sitting areas and we will also look to have competitions and involve schools from all across the borough."

Mandy Whitehall, chair of the Rainhill ECO group added: “It is progressing really well and it is ready for the more decorative stuff on the top now.”

Work on the garden is expected to be completed in the autumn.