Get digging as allotment waiting lists reach zero

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PEOPLE who fancy growing fruit, vegetables and flowers in their own little oasis may finally have the chance after allotment waiting lists were dramatically reduced.

For several years, there has been a wait of years for people who want to rent an allotment.

But now the group that runs Kettering Allotments has managed to get two of its waiting lists down to zero – and is welcoming new applications from local people.

The committee runs four sites on behalf of Kettering Council at Margaret Road, Scott Road, Northfield Avenue and Windmill Avenue.

After three plot owners at Margaret Road and three at Scott Road gave up their patches, those on the waiting list have been given plots so there is now no waiting list for those sites.

It means that instead of waiting years for a plot, people joining the list now could have their own allotment within months.

Secretary Dai Johnson said: “The allotments are leased to us by the council and we have operated them on their behalf for 75 years.

“For the past few years the waiting list for each has sometimes got up to 20 people because the plots come up so rarely.

“The reason we have managed to get the list down is that instead of giving up a whole plot when it becomes available we have split it into smaller ones.”

Allotment associations nationwide have noticed a surge in popularity in recent years.

Dai added: “It does require a fair amount of time and it’s not like walking out into your garden for half an hour. You need to be there for at least two to four hours a week.

“But it’s very rewarding and provides a break from the busy lives that people live these days.

“You just can’t compare the things people grow on the allotments with the produce in the supermarket which have often travelled for miles in a lorry.

“We have people growing things like curly kale and proper sprouting broccoli that you can’t get elsewhere.”