Allotments in the News

Cableform Allotments Association has received a cash grant in the latest Lottery Awards for All funding. The grant is specifically to clear a piece of derelict land next to the allotment site in Sowerby Bridge site and turn it into ten new plots. The Allotments Association has been give permission to take over the land by the people who own it, but at present it is covered in Japanese knotweed which is very difficult to remove because it must be cleared by experts and disposed of in a way that allows no risk of the plant propagating itself, for example through composting or being dumped elsewhere. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence ‘to plant or otherwise encourage’ the growth of Japanese Knotweed. This could include cutting the plant or roots and disturbing surrounding soil if not correctly managed. – which means that Japanese Knotweed polluted soil or plant material is classed as 'controlled waste' and should be accompanied by appropriate Waste Transfer documentation. The association is discussing a further sum with Calderdale Council, which could be between £500 and £4,000, to complete the job by covering the ground with new topsoil.

A disabled woman was locked into an allotment site in Calne, Wiltshire for several hours one evening this week after builders added an extra lock to gates to safeguard their materials. Builders creating new playing fields are using land at the allotments to store their machinery and installed a combination lock to safeguard their equipment.

The woman was trapped in the allotment until 9pm and was only rescued after a passer-by heard her shouting for help. The 58-year-old victim described the situation as terrifying. She wasn’t able to climb the fence and it was fully dark by the time she was freed. She said that there had never been a problem with the council locks but the new builder's locks made it impossible to get in or out of the allotment.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, December 21, 2007

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