AN ALLOTMENT group in Feltham is urging local businesses and residents to back its bid to transform wasteland into a blossoming fruit orchard.
Hounslow Community Farming Association (HCFA) has a leasehold agreement with the council on a derelict allotment site, in Faggs Road, next to the association's existing site.
Association spokesman Alex Morrell said: "We've cleaned up the land and we're ready for planting, but due to funding restrictions we haven't got the money to buy any trees.
"We're hoping to raise enough money for 130 trees and 4,000 soft fruit plants. The site is an acre-and-a-half, which is the size of two or three football pitches, so it will make a huge difference to the area."
The group needs to raise £4,500 and is inviting local businesses to sponsor a tree at the site.
Fruit trees cost £6.50 each, with soft fruit bushes and fruit canes costing £1.50 and 60p respectively.
Feltham Tyre Centre and supermarket chains Tesco and Asda have already agreed to support the project.
To help meet the cost of the planting, the association has also applied for funding from NatWest's Community Force Challenge.
The challenge gives small charities and projects the chance to win an award of up to £6,000, with the winners decided by a public vote.
Voting closes at midday on Monday, October 24 and the three projects with the most votes in each Community Force area will win the awards.
Alex said: "We're asking for businesses to give whatever they can and donations will be gratefully received."
To vote for the HCFA project, visit http://communityforce.natwest.com/pr oject/2685.
If you are interested in sponsoring a fruit tree, email alex.morrell@ hcfa.org.uk or, for more information, visit www.hcfa.org.uk.
Since the Hounslow Community Farming Association was formed in August 2009, it has established City and Guilds training courses to boost employment opportunities for local residents as well as transforming disused land off Faggs Road into fruitful allotments.