20-year-wait for town allotment

THE enduring popularity of “growing your own” continues to keep green-fingered gardeners busy on allotments up and down the country.

Craig Robinson

THE enduring popularity of “growing your own” continues to keep green-fingered gardeners busy on allotments up and down the country.

But for some residents in Woodbridge, the chance would be a fine thing.

It has emerged that some people in the market town have been waiting a staggering 20 years to get an allotment.

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And it has now got to the point where one group of enthusiasts has decided to grasp the nettle in a bid to come up with a solution.

Members of the newly formed Woodbridge Growers were frustrated with the time it was taking them to get an allotment and are now looking for space for around 20 plots within or close to the town boundary.

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The group - none of whom currently have an allotment - hope their project will encourage community spirit and provide people with exercise as well as good, locally produced food.

Matthew Ling, who has been on the waiting list for four years, said: “There is a lot of interest in growing your own food and living more sustainably and as a result there are a number of people who have put themselves down on the list for allotments.

“Some people have been on that list for 20 years so we realised that there was going to be little chance of some of us ever getting an allotment if we just carried on doing nothing.

“As a result we decided to form the association. As a group we thought we might have more chance of getting something done or perhaps someone might come forward with some land that we could use.”

The association was formed following a meeting chaired by town councillor Cliff Cocker and Karen Kenny, regional representative of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners.

Mr Ling, 43, said the group had ten members representing a cross section of society - from individuals with families to elderly people wanting to keep busy in their retirement - but would be keen to recruit more if anyone was interested.

He said the association - affiliated to the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners - was currently looking at five possible sites in and around Woodbridge that might be suitable.

“Hopefully the project will snowball,” he added. “We would like to provide a real community activity in terms of healthy living and lifestyles.”

? Anyone who thinks they might be able to help or would like to join the association should contact chairman Jonathan Metcalf on 01394 380225 or at jonathan.metcalf@btinternet.com or secretary Christine Adelson on 01394 387433 or at chris.adelson@btinternet.com .

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