Residents pitched in to bring natural wildlife and colour to the shopping parade in Shelley in Ongar.

Joining Epping Forest District Council officers, residents helped with the council’s ‘Create Great Estates’ project to create three new planters outside Shelley shops.

“The planters not only brighten up the area but also encourage insects and wildlife. plants were carefully chosen to provide structure, shelter and food for wildlife,” a council spokesperson said.

“When the plants bloom, they will help enhance the area to make it look decorative, and the leaves are providing a sensory element for residents as they pass by.”

Cllr Holly Whitbread, cabinet member for housing, added: “This is part of the ‘Create Great Estates, Where People Want to Live’.

“We’re encouraging residents to get involved and let us know what they think would improve the estates where they live.

“Other residents around the district who have ideas for brightening up their local area should get in touch by emailing”