Keen gardeners in Saffron Walden reaping benefits of increased allotments

Paul and Emma Wrigley get to work on their new allotment plot.

Paul and Emma Wrigley get to work on their new allotment plot. - Credit: Archant

Green-fingered residents are reaping the benefits of an increased number of allotments in Saffron Walden.

Keen gardeners, like West Road resident Emma Wrigley, have taken advantage of a drive by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) to add to the number of plots available.

Mrs Wrigley, who was given a plot on the Radwinter Road allotment site having been on the waiting list for a number of years, said: “It is good news that Uttlesford District Council is making the effort to improve the allotments.

“The one we have been allocated is effectively a barren plot and we’re under no illusions that it will take some work to get it in shape – but we’re chuffed to bits to finally get it.

“My seven-year-old daughter is really keen to get involved, and it is something we are looking forward to developing as a family. My dad also has an allotment and we plan to complement what the other grows and share the produce.”

In total, the authority manages 62 full plots on eight sites across the district.

Inspection of the sites, carried out in February and March, highlighted that many plots had become over-run or been left unattended, while some of the sites themselves – which are mostly on small patches of unused or scrub land – had become unkempt.

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Ground clearance, signposting, plot reduction and segregation has so far taken place on four of the sites, all in Saffron Walden, and the endeavours have helped to increase the number and quality of allotments and reduce the waiting list.

Councillor Julie Redfern, UDC’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The idea of people being able to grow their own produce locally is fantastic – it promotes a healthy lifestyle and creates a sense of community. We would encourage all our current and future plot-holders to spend the time and effort in caring for their allocated allotments.”

For details of allotment plots currently available, call 01799 510510.

Saffron Walden Town Council also owns some allotments, at Little Walden Road and Crocus Fields. To join the waiting list call 01799 516501.