We are delighted to announce that Ealing Transition has taken over the management of the Village Park allotment site.
For the last four years, Village Park has not had a regular manager, which meant that the waiting list was not being maintained, and abandoned plots were not being re-let. After quite a bit of discussion between us, much research and after a thorough grilling of Ealing Council’s Allotments Manager, we agreed to take on the management role.
Why we wanted to do this
Becoming the managers of Village Park furthers our goal of building a thriving food growing community in Ealing, allowing us to offer plots to local people, and support them in their growing efforts.
One of our first initiatives was to divide some of the vacant full plots into half plots, something increasingly common on other allotment sites in Ealing and elsewhere. This allows us to offer more people a growing space, and helps people with no experience of allotment gardening to get started, without being overwhelmed from the offset by having to manage a large area of land (and a large number of weeds!).
The resulting plots have been offered to people on the existing waiting list, some of whom had given up hope of ever getting an allotment. For many, 2012 will be their first growing season ever, so we, and the other plot holders will be there to help them scale the learning curve, and to share their successes and, since this is gardening, ease the pain of their failures too!
A ‘work day’ in mid-October allowed us to meet most of the new plot-holders for the first time, and to do a bit of collective tidying and rubbish clearance, assisted by Ealing Council’s workforce and Steve Cole, the Allotments Manager. We also constructed a windrow from cleared brash around an area we intend to leave to nature, and celebrated the event with tea and cakes!
The transformation of the site, which was over 50% vacant and becoming more overgrown every month, has been staggering: the whole site has a different feel now, and you can sense the new activity and enthusiasm of the plot-holders, even the existing ones! All of our new plot-holders live within walking distance, so over the last few weeks we’ve seen quite a bit of digging, a number of composters have been constructed, and beds have been edged with reclaimed timber.
All in all, we’re looking forward to a greatly enhanced community spirit in 2012, and hope our new plot holders become as addicted to growing as we’ve become!
For more information about Village Park, our community gardening days, and to join the waiting list, please contact Ealing Transition by dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org