Volunteers have helped give a new lease of life to green spaces and waterways around the borough during a three-week project.

Students from Uxbridge College, and staff and contractors from Hillingdon Council and the Blue Sky Development and Regeneration Project, took part in a three-week project to improve the popular public sites in Hillingdon.

They cleared rubbish and weeds from the pond on Uxbridge Common, off Park Road, Uxbridge, and helped clear the Celandine Route, a pathway which runs alongside the River Pinn, including off Pynchester Moat in Ickenham.

The students' work was part of the Key Challenge qualification, which develops skills in communication, teamwork, problem solving and learning.

Key Challenge student Melanie Orackova (21), said: "It is great working in a team - you get things done so much more quickly. It was amazing how quickly we cleared the pond on Uxbridge Common. It looked so much better."

Louise St Aubyn, Team Leader for Key Challenge at Uxbridge College, said: "This kind of project is a great opportunity for students to work in the community and learn a huge amount. It has been a really effective team-building exercise, particularly working with Hillingdon Council and other volunteers. We have had some really positive responses from members of the public - some of the people living around Uxbridge Common even came out and helped. I would really like to thank Dragana Knezevic from Hillingdon Council for co-ordinating the project, and their Parks Patrol Officers for all their help and hard work - they have been really supportive."

Mary Worrall, Head of Highways and Green Spaces at Hillingdon Council, said: "In Hillingdon we are very fortunate to have a great range of historic, attractive green spaces which are open to everyone - and it is one of our priorities to maintain and improve them. We really appreciate the help of volunteers such as the Key Challenge students from Uxbridge College in making this possible. This project has been a real success and everyone involved should be really proud of what they have achieved."

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