Wellingborough Eco Group Community Allotment

Three of us, Jonathan, Judy and Simon, had a look at our plot on Sunday, at Ladywell Allotments in Wellingborough. We spent two hours looking at options and uses of the site. Measurements have been taken and Simon will be drawing up a 3D plan based on what we have decided.

Looking into our plot

We considered where to put two sheds and a greenhouse that are on site ready to be assembled, plus a covered seating area and fence to be made out of large pallets and roofing sheets also on site. These have been donated to Jonathan for use at our community allotment and were brought to our plot last week.

Apple tree and rose hedge

We looked at the options for growing areas including raised beds, plus where to put a pond and planting to attract wildlife. The site already benefits from a large rose hedge, brambles and an apple tree, these will be kept and added to for pollinators, birds and mammal residents including badgers, foxes and dear.

What we are going to grow and who for was talked about in detail, and we decided that we would have a mixture of fruit and vegetables for local charities, and flowers and shrubs for community centres and gardens. We talked about donations to food banks and the One Wellingborough project for the food, plus overstock to Animals in Need; with flowers being grown for Glamis Hall and the Victoria Centre.

Pallets and roofing sheets behind a neighbouring shed

We also discussed how to make this as environmentally friendly as we can, including composting and rain water collection options, plus a composting toilet and solar power to power a water pump and lighting. We all agreed that we should base it all on organic/permaculture principles as far as we can.

Then we worked on accessibility, talking about who will be using the plot. We decided that everyone should be able to use the plot, so parking, a covered area near the entrance, hard standing for parking and access to the covered area was seen as a must. Spaces for two cars will be provided at the front of the plot. A covered 12′ X 8′ ‘gazeebo’ will be on the right as you enter plot. A fence will separate the parking strip from the rest of the plot.

Parking, brick edge already in place

Grass paths will then lead from the gazeebo across the plot to the left side, with a raspberry border between it and the fence, and vegetable growing area moving down the plot. Either side of this area, grass paths will run to the bottom of the allotment. Midway down the plot, we will assemble the greenhouse as a central feature. Grass paths will cross the plot in front and behind the greenhouse. Water butts will be put either side of the greenhouse.

Rear of the plot with sheds waiting to be assembled

The first path will lead to our wildlife garden and pond to the left of the plot, behind the neighbouring plot holders shed. A bench is also planned for this area. The apple tree next to this will have its canopy raised to allow more space for seating and the path.

Behind the greenhouse, we will construct raised beds and compost bins. Our two sheds will be built in the two corners at the rear of the plot. One will be for storage, the other for a composting toilet. A solar panel could be attached to the toilet shed to power a light, water pump and fan for the loo. Both sheds will have numerous water butts alongside them.

Looking from the rear of the plot

We are aiming to get this all completed by the spring, we know what we’re going to do, working days will be open to all, detailed plans to follow…

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