Plotting for the future as new largest allotment site opens

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By Joshephira Honey

The site, which took ten months to complete by local company, Red Fox Countryside Services had been a disused grazing site but now boasts around 140 plots, with the first 100 released as part of the council’s £240,000 commitment to double the number of allotments from 500 to 1,000.

The secure open-plan new-style site has been designed to maximize growing capabilities and efficient land use, and includes additional benefits such as 14 self-filling water troughs, a first-class drainage system, 520 metres of mesh anti-climb security fencing, and a car park for 17 vehicles; all adding to the attractiveness of the site.

Accessible paths throughout the site provide easy access for people of all abilities.

The school at Great Howarth, located directly next to the allotment, has been allocated two plots as part of the development for planting projects; they will also be helping to plant and grow 240 trees over winter.

In addition, there has also been space allocated for community groups, with raised planters available, and the accessible paths throughout the site provide easy access for people of all abilities.

Plotting for the future as new largest allotment site opens

Space has been allocated for community groups, with raised planters available.

There are more than 1,500 people currently on the waiting list for an allotment, so to help reduce waiting time some overgrown and unused land on existing sites has been converted to increase the number of plots.

Also, when larger plots are returned, they will be split into several smaller plots, and the council will take a more proactive approach in dealing with non-cultivation by existing plot holders.

Great Howarth allotment.

The new allotment is the first and largest site opened in the borough since the 1970s.

Councillor Liam O’Rourke, the council’s cabinet member for climate change and environment, said:

“These new allotments at Great Howarth will allow us to speed up the allocation of sites, which we understand is often frustrating to our residents who have been on the waiting list for a long time.

“Being the largest site in the borough, we expect the site to be popular as we know allotments have always been a great way to get people outdoors, which boosts moods, encourages fruit and vegetable growth, and saves money along the way. It has been a long time coming, but what a way to make an impact, which can only benefit the land and our residents.”

The council also urges schemes to ask new and existing plot owners to donate surplus foods to local food banks to help give back to the community.

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