Battle on the Allotment – wildlife versus cultivation.
Most allotment holders nowadays have an interest in ecology, organic foods etc. Usually the battle is to save the allotment site from councils wanting to sell them off and develop them into houses or shopping centres. This is a totally different battle.
Harthill allotments in Liverpool are an inner city site, just three miles from Liverpool city centre and is one of two sites from the 23 in Liverpool to be recognised as ecologically important.
Now there is a waiting list for this allotment site in Liverpool and the site has plots in theory that have become a tiny woodland. Great news except that the area they are considering expanding the site into is a small woodland copse which provides a sanctuary and reservoir of wildlife in the city.
The woodland copse is the crucial end point of the Allerton ‘green wedge’ allowing rare species of birds and animals their last chance to penetrate into Liverpool’s urban area. The ‘lack of management’ of the site meant that in 2002 some 9 plots out of 46 lay overgrown and a haven for wildlife. Today the three plots of Harthill Copse represent the last remaining ‘wild area’ left on site.
Now this discussion has taken a strange turn – the committee has made a decision about clearing the woodland but apparently is ignoring the democratic process and railroading it’s choice in the matter through.
It raises questions about the integrity of a committee that ignores or manipulates the associations own rules to get its own way. How far can a committee go to getting its own way? Should it be allowed to ride roughshod over the strongly held views if individual members?
This issue has divided the association down the middle an it’s caused suspicion and recrimination to a point where some members are actively questioning the motives of their committee.
Are they working on behalf of or against the membership?