Further to my recent letters about the creation of new allotments in Rochdale, I am now in a position to reveal that within the last 12 months twelve new plots have been created.
Many thanks to Val at Townships & Communities for her efficiency and thoroughness in dealing with my enquiry.
Her letter states:
“In 2016 / 17 we have created 12 new allotment plots at a derelict horse grazing site on Kellet Street.
In 2013 [this site was] derelict and dangerous structures plus fly tipping of tyres, fridges, a boat etc.
All this has been cleared, the perimeter secured with fencing / gate repairs and new installation, small car parking area to prevent parking issues on already congested streets around the site,
Japanese Knotweed treated, path network created and new allotment society set up to run the site. The work to get the next 20 plots on this site ready for allocating is nearing completion and these should be ready for allocation from mid-April.
Work is also ongoing with our Estates Department to identify other sites and as a result of that process multiple sites are now being tested for suitability (checking access, if the soil is contaminated etc) prior to organising works to bring these other sites into operation as allotments during 2017 and 2018.”
Hence, by the end of next month 32 of the promised 100 allotment plots will have been created.
I had stated in a previous letter that my hunch was that the actual figure would be zero and it is reassuring to know that some work is being done. However, as things stand, just 12% of the stated target has been reached so I do not feel that my cynicism is entirely unwarranted.
Finally, I’d like to wish good luck to the people now tending those new allotments and to the people waiting for a plot of their own.
Growing one’s own food is a beautiful way to foster a relationship with nature, and with issues such as the exponential use of foodbanks these are vital skills that we all need to share with each other.
Rochdale Green Party