Allotments: Ten Reasons Why Preston City Council Should Not Build Over Them
The allotments near Penwortham Holme are under threat from the Preston City Council Riverworks Initiative - which includes proposals to build over 4000 houses in this area. The area threatened by this huge housing estate also includes popular land used by local amateur football leagues and some rather amazing beautiful green space, only 10 minutes walk from the City Centre. This area also happens to be greenbelt and in the RIbble floodplain.
Here is a list of 10 good reasons why the allotments should stay, and Riverworks housing ideas should be scrapped.
1. Growing your own vegetables on an allotment has huge health and social benefits - it provides exercise, occupation and nutrition and is being promoted by local health authorities - they are a place where you can grow organic food that you can be truly confident IS fully organic.
2. There is a national shortage of allotments, because greedy property developers are building all over them.
3. The Penwortham Holme allotments are part of a ‘green corridor’ that supports a huge variety of wildlife along the banks of the Ribble - allotments are key to preserving biodiversity, both locally and nationally.
4. People of all backgrounds, ages and ethnicities are using the Penwortham Holme allotments - it is a place where people are meeting, chatting, helping each other out, and becoming a truly diverse community.
5. For many city dwellers, including many children who don’t have gardens, an allotment is the only opportunity to connect with nature, get out in the fresh air, and learn about how to grow things and healthy eating.
6. Preston City Council has recently spent £thousands on cleaning up the Penwotham Holme site and bringing it back into full use.
7. Allotments are nicer to look at than a stale suburban housing estate, and Preston and South Ribble both have a housing surplus already.
8. Allotments recycle virtually everything you could imagine, packaging becomes seed trays and bird-scarers, food waste becomes compost, old bits of timber become sheds, walkways or fencing.
9. There have been allotments at Penwortham Holme since 1913. In 1919, there were 1.5 million allotments nationally, one plot for every five families, the ‘Land Settlement Facilities Act’ made it clear that all members of the community were eligible to take up allotment gardening. In 1996 there were 33 000 acres of allotments, representing a major decline from the war years and a decline of 43% between 1970 and 1996.
10. Allotments are a natural flood defence - they absorb rain water, while housing estates, roads and car parks do not!
(Thanks to allotment keeper Elaine, whose excellent article I have based this list on)
Read more about the Penwotham Holme Allotments here: Weekend on the allotment and here: Further Tales and Pictures from the Riverbank and Allotments
Here's a link to the National Association of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners and the Office of the Deputy Prime Ministers Publication Allotments - A Plot Holder's Guide.
allotment allotments lists