1 Apr 2009

Stroud Town seeks more allotments

Just before I went away we had a meeting re plans for our local allotments - still moving ahead - do sign up with Parish Clerk if you are interested. However I wanted to draw attention to moves in Stroud for more allotments.

Stroud Town Council owns five allotment sites – at Spider Lane, Summer Street, Gannicox, Uplands and Bisley Old Road – providing around 190 plots. But a new survey has shown there are currently 25 people on waiting lists, with just two vacant plots.

Green party Councillor Dave Cockcroft is quoted in Stroud Life saying: "There has been a steady rise over several years, so I don't think it's all down to households having tighter budgets. People have clearly become more aware of the need to reduce food miles, they are wanting to know where their food comes from, prefer organic and fresh produce, and have re-discovered the pure joy of growing your own food."

Click here!The National Trust recently confirmed a rising interest in allotments with news that it would create 1,000 new plots across the country - see more on a previous blog of mine here.

Stroud Town hope to acquire at least two new sites. An offer has already been made to take over a vacant site in the town owned by the county council, but the identity of the site is under wraps while negotiations continue. Seven years ago, just seven of the 50 plots on the Bisley Old Road Allotments were being used. This led to the site being promoted for housing as an alternative to greenfield sites. Thankfully saved when in 2007, a big increase in plot holders led the town council to announce that plans to turn the site into a 45-home housing estate had been ditched.

The town council has just added a new page to its website, www.stroudtown.gov.uk, offering details of all five allotment sites and contact details. But, in order to help plan future provision, it is keen to hear from people unable to get a plot. Coun Cockcroft said: "People who find themselves in such positions should contact the town council office in London Road so that we can get an idea of where sites are most needed."

It is great to see so many initiatives - Scotland are developing plans for more allotments, London has a plan - see here - indeed it seems all are getting interested.....

Organic 'Victory' Garden Planted at White House

First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on the White House's first organic kitchen garden since the Roosevelt Administration. According to the First Lady "I've been able to have my kids eat so many different things that they would have never touched if we had bought it at a store because they either met the farmers that grew it, or they saw how it was grown."

Are you ready to follow the First Lady's lead? Make a pledge here. There are many great examples of gardens being developed locally and elsewhere - many covered in this blog previously - lots of different models from community gardens to allotments - see for example Edible Estates website here which I have only just come across. See also more here: www.nsalg.org.uk

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