Community Allotment

Wellingborough Eco Group have taken on a plot at Ladywell allotments in Wellingborough, to give people the chance to share skills and to grow plants. The site has been cleared and is ready to be developed into a user-friendly space to grow fruit, vegetables and other plants to benefit the community.

The Plan

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

Grass paths will then lead from the gazebo 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.

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.

The People

Anyone can volunteer at the Community Allotment, you don’t have to know anything about gardening and tools will be provided. We will have working parties at the allotment, socially distancing of course! These will be set up as events on our dedicated Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/communityallotment, and put on our blog, please let us know if you are coming so that we can meet you at the gates to the allotment.

Jonathan walks you around our plot on a windy freezing cold February day, giving you a progress update and some plans for the future. As you can see there’s plenty to join in with as there’s much more to do!

The Project

In addition to giving people the opportunity to try allotment gardening, we will have learning opportunities with lots of demonstrations on all aspects of growing produce. We plan to share plants and produce with each other and with other community organisations. We will also have a seed bank, to share with other allotment holders and for individuals to plant in their gardens.

The project is as much about community as it is allotment, so just join in, make new friends and be part of something that will benefit the town and all of us!

The Progress

We got this plot in May 2020 (see first picture) but apart from keeping the weeds down, we really only started working on it in November (see second photo.) Many hours, many hands, and a few additions of various buildings, fences and paths, plus tons of soil and compost, have made it into a user friendly productive space for us all to use. We even have bees!

There’s lots growing on our Community Allotment, our produce will be available at our working parties or at our Swap Shops, any excess will be given to local food banks or Animals in Need. Thank you to everyone that has helped transform the worst plot at Ladywell Allotments into our Community Allotment! Here’s a year in pictures for you to show our progress: