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Alton Street Allotments

As I mentioned yesterday, I was asked to attend Alton Street allotment’s open day and do a book signing. Of course, as always seems to happen when I go, the weather turned against us. It wasn’t as bad as the weather forecast made me fear, but it certainly was colder and we had some spits of rain and kept the visitors away I’m sure, although quite a few brave souls came along.

Lucky for me, they’d made me a space with a chair by the barbeque under the marquee. So I was relatively warm and dry. The downside was the smell of a barbeque, not good for my waistline!

Anyway, I did sell a few copies but, to be honest, that wasn’t my primary purpose for attending. It’s important to support local initiatives and it’s fascinating to see how others do things.

Alton Street site had been a right mess, loads of vacant and overgrown plots with a few die-hards trying to carry on in the middle plagued by vandals and thieves, of course.

Well allotment reps Jill and Peter Hitchen have taken the site by the scruff of the neck and given it a great shake up. They still have some problems with break ins and suchlike. Still a few plots whose owners have left them to go wild but most of the plots are looking pretty good now and they’re overcoming the problems.

It’s a very small site, just 29 plots, but it’s quite an oasis in a housing estate with a lovely feel to it. I felt it would be a good place to grow in. There is quite a community spirit developing there now, which is great to see.

Looking at how much some new plot holders have achieved in their first year, I felt quite jealous. Wish I’d done as well in year one. I think there was more enthusiasm than manure going into the soil.

One thing did sadden me. A young lady member of our local National Vegetable Society association had suffered a stroke, which has left her wheelchair bound. Her husband is converting a plot for disabled access with high raised beds. He’s put his labour in and spent £600 so far on materials that he can ill afford. The site also needs a disabled toilet, she’s not the only disabled person on there either

I’ve put a post on the forums but if you have knowledge of how they can claim grants please let me know – you can comment below. There seem to be grants for anything and everything if you know how to get them and if anybody deserves one, they do.

Photo Below: Jill Hitchen in front of a ‘before and after’ display on a shed for their open day. She also cooks a mean burger!

Jill Hitchen

Jill Hitchen

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
3 comments on “Alton Street Allotments
  1. Alison Hill says:

    This is worth looking at: http://www.localfoodworks.org/ Lottery grants specifically for things like allotments.

  2. keith says:

    they could possibly get agrant from the lottery community fundgives small grants up to a £1000..there is a book which gives information to orginisations looking for grants try the library for a copy

  3. John says:

    Thanks for the help – it is appreciated

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