I've been too busy in recent weeks to carry blogs on most of the meeting's I've been to but hopefully still managing to keep updates on most of the local stuff - anyhow this blog is on allotments - updates on the local working group, the petition response and Hugh F-W.
Advert in Woodruffs re Bisley Old Road Allotments - rare to see allotments advertised locally - snap them up!!
In this blog I've written lots on the importance of increasing local food - and pushed to keep allotments at the Cashes Green Hospital site (a waiting list exists in that Parish) and Hunts Grove etc - it is not just about climate change, increasing health/fitness, rising food and oil prices, food shortages in some countries, tastier food, building local communities etc - it is also about fun. I love connecting with the soil...but hey this is not one of those rambles about such joys...
Parish Working Party
Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish have now formally set up a Working Group to look at allotments locally - there is a legal requirement on them to do so if more than 6 folk write to them - we now have more than 6 people requesting allotments locally. Anyhow 5 of us on the Working Group met to look at this on Tuesday night this week.
Much was discussed in a short but productive meeting. Firstly considering possible allotment locations - the next stage is to investigate these further eg Land around Archway School or Land around the Scout Hut. Where else? Does Highways have any land locally? If anyone reading this knows do please contact us.
There is also a local farmer who has expressed a wish to enter into a private arrangement rather than lease the land to the parish council. It was suggested that 4-6 people could form a Community Garden group. This is just over the edge of the Parish boundary and will be looked at more in conjunction with the orchard project at Humphreys End - read more about that here.
A visit is planned to the allotments at Eastington to see how they have been set-up. We also discussed plot sizes in view of the shortage of land available - the standard size plot is 250sq metres. It was thought that we could offer half-size plots. Allotment plots attract an average £25 per year, a half-plot £12-15 per year. Planning permission would probably not be needed unless the land is agricultural. Another Allotment Working Group meeting is planned for 2nd December to feedback on results of investigations. Do get in touch if interested in helping.
Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall and Landshare
Photos: Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall's shop in Axminister where I went earlier this year for a v tasty simple lunch - below my pics of the inside - cafe and shop
My Mum alerted me to Hugh Fearnley–Whittingstall and his latest project trying to get people together who have gardens and do not want to garden and people who would like to but cannot. His example was of 2 women in Totnes: one with a house and garden and one in a flat. The flat owner spent £30 in May, on seeds and gave 1/4 of the produce to the house owner which kept them both going for 8 months. This is similar to a local project talked about by both Care and repair and Transition Stroud. Depending on how it goes maybe the local groups can help push the national scheme if that is what happens?
Anyhow here is stuff from Hugh's River Cottage website: What is Landshare?
With allotment waiting lists massively over-subscribed and people right across the country keener than ever to grow their own fruit and veg, the aim for Landshare is to become a UK wide initiative to make British land more productive and fresh local produce more accessible to all. But all of this depends on people like you registering their interest now.
Sign up to help us build the momentum we need to launch this exciting project in early 2009. In the meantime, via monthly updates, you'll get the chance to help shape the initiative and make sure you’re amongst the first to have the opportunity to be involved. See more here.
Anyhow a while back I urged folk to sign a petition asking the Prime Minister to "Make it compulsory that local authorities and developers make provision for allotments and community gardens on every new development. Waiting lists are huge we need more allotment sites." The Prime Minister's Office has now responded - you can view it here: http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page16920