Workers at Oxford business park given garden plots

Designers have created a series of mini gardens at an Oxfordshire business park so that staff from nearby offices can spill out and grow flowers and vegetables in their lunch breaks.

MEPC Milton Park in Abingdon is home to the 20 "urban gardens", which measure approximately 6m by 2m each. Staff from the companies on the site will be able to use the plots free of charge.

They can grow fruit, vegetables or ornamental plants and flowers. According to James Dipple, the managing director of MEPC Milton Park, the results look attractive and staff are enjoying doing a spot of lunchtime gardening.

"We have 6,500 people working on the site," he said. "Our urban gardens scheme allows staff to spend time outside the office during breaks and promotes a healthier lifestyle."

He added that some of the gardens' users were already beginning to take home their own vegetables grown at work.

One firm on the site sells the vegetables and gives the money to charity, while others are providing small grants so that staff can buy seeds, plants and tools.

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