GREEN activists fighting eviction from their thriving Sipson market garden celebrated its first birthday last weekend.
The young campaigners behind Grow Heathrow - who a year ago descended on what was a dumping ground in Vineries Close, Sipson, and transformed it into a community market for all to enjoy - welcomed more than 150 people for the occasion, last Sunday (27).
Visitors were given a tour of the site, before getting their hands dirty in a vegetable growing workshop, and sitting down for film screenings about sustainable energy and climate change.
The gardens were formed as a grass roots community project off the back of the anti-third runway campaign, and it has since been lauded by local people, who have praised the youngsters for turning the site into a community amenity.
Last September, the campaigners were served eviction papers by the landowner, but celebrated after being given a temporary reprieve at Uxbridge Country Court.
They now have until November before they appear back in court to fight the notice.
Twenty one year-old Joe Rake, who now lives on the garden's grounds, told the Gazette: "It was nice to look back on what has been a turbulent year, and also to look ahead to the challenges we will be facing later this year.
"It is amazing that a court has given us such a long stay of execution, and this gives us a bit of breathing space.
Mr Rake continued: "It is a residents group more than anything else, and the number of people who came along on the day just show how we are valued by people in Sipson.
"There were lots of regular faces, and we hope that by working together, we can beat this eviction."
Sipson resident Tracy Howard, 35, added: "The local residents have been thrilled by the news that Grow Heathrow will remain in Sipson for a lot longer than first thought.
"The site has provided a space for us all to come together again to rebuild after the blight caused by the 3rd runway issue.
"Not only is the site used for events, workshops and skillshares – it has become a hang out for residents and activists who have become very close friends since they took the site."