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Allotments encourage residents to grow their own

Date: 12/11/2008           Category: Greenspaces

Celebrity chefs have made growing your own fruit and vegetables trendy - and now Medway Council is giving residents the opportunity to give it a go. A £25,000 improvement project has resulted in an additional 64 allotments plots being provided in Lower Rainham. The project has been funded through the council’s capital spending programme. Allotments are extremely popular in Medway; these additional plots were instantly snapped up and there are still 1,000 families on a waiting list for an allotment. The Lower Bloors Lane site was formerly an orchard and some of the fruit trees have been retained on site. There is also a dedicated plot to encourage bees and it is hoped a borehole will be created for a solar water pump. Portfolio Holder for Community Services, which include green spaces, Cllr Howard Doe said: "I welcome these additional allotment plots. Allotments are a great way for residents to enjoy the outdoors, the pleasure of growing and eating their own crop and in the long run it helps to make the household budget stretch further. “This is the first increase in allotments on this site since it was acquired (under the Local Government Act 1992) in 1995 and will increase the overall allotment provision in Medway by 6.3 per cent but in the Rainham area by one third. There are now 100 plots on this one site.” It has taken six months to clear the site and surrounding conifer trees, thanks to the help of offenders on Kent probation Community Payback scheme, under supervision from Brian Forster and Nick Crealock. They have made good use of the felled timber by logging it and supplying it to residents throughout Medway. Dave Wyett Chairman of Medway Allotments Federation said: “The Federation applauds the efforts of Medway Council in creating the first new plots in a very long time. By working together Medway’s allotments has experienced a period of regeneration which is great.” Picture caption: Cllr Howard Doe officially opens the new plots helped by allotment holders, Medway Council’s Allotments Officer Paul Schmoeger and Brian Forster and Nick Crealock from Kent Probation.