David McLean, whose construction empire collapsed during the recession, has opened up his mansion's garden for use as an allotment by the local community.
David McLean Holdings was a £160m construction business which employed 320 people before it went into administration two years ago.
However, the firm's former owner has hardly been idle since its demise – launching a crusade against the shortage of allotments near his Flintshire home, in North Wales.
The 67-year-old had read of the huge waiting list for allotments in the area, and contacted the local council to suggest opening up his own garden. He was inundated with applicants.
As a result, large areas of the mansion's grounds have been planted and are now maintained by local gardening enthusiasts.
Head gardener John Hughes, who hand-picked the 14 successful families which applied, said: “We're all organic and the families, all from within three miles, are feeding themselves with the produce, and paying for it by pruning fruiting trees, trimming box hedging, maintaining pathways and keeping areas tidy and weed-free.”