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Growing food and friendships in Tattenhall

Ten years ago, the Tattenhall Allotment Association took over an unwanted corner of a wet field on the outskirts of the village and set about transforming it. In the decade since, the plots they created have yielded an abundance of vegetables, fruit and flowers including best-in-class entries at the Tattenhall Show. On one occasion they produced a cabbage that was almost too big to fit in the back of a Land Rover! The allotments have also enabled plot holders and their families to enjoy hours of exercise in the open air and to make many new friendships.

A recent surge in interest means there is now a waiting list for plots and, to mark their 10th anniversary, the allotments are being given a new lease of life with fresh ideas being introduced to increase community involvement.

New ideas for a new decade

The Association is organising a range of fundraising activities and exploring new ways to promote this community resource. The ultimate aim is to broaden appeal and increase use of the allotment site. These ideas include:

  • organising work days as an introduction for anyone who wants to try before deciding whether to take on an allotment.
  • transforming the plots to raised beds, which would improve drainage and help those who are a little less active stay involved with their allotment
  • introducing an associate membership scheme to make allotments more inclusive for individuals or families from the village. This means people could be involved in social or work activities without committing to managing a plot on their own
  • offering plots to newcomers either prepared for planting or in the raw state if the new owner wants the exercise to dig the plot over
  • increasing involvement with the Tattenhall horticultural show, which takes place in September each year.

“We want to connect with the local community and encourage people to get involved either by growing with us or by taking part in the activities we are planning. For example, we are thinking about growing pumpkins for local children to come and harvest for Halloween. Our aim is to have every plot cultivated. If we have a spare plot, we would grow a low maintenance crop like squash for everyone to enjoy.”

Mike Foster, Allotment Communications officer.