Council digs deep to find £350,000 to improve allotments

Allotments such as this at Hartley Down are to receive a funding boost from the council

Six allotment sites around the borough are to benefit from a £350,000 cash boost from the council.

The council announced yesterday, “The money will be used for a range of works at the sites which are managed by the council, including improving accessibility to and security on the allotments.”

The six sites set to benefit from the works are:

  • Hartley Down
  • Mickleham Way
  • Midday Sun
  • Orchard Avenue
  • Pampisford Road
  • Sanderstead Allotments

The council said, “Significant improvements, most of which will be completed within the coming year, include a new site hut for plot holders at Sanderstead, new perimeter fencing at Pampisford Road and repairing the paths at Hartley Down. There are also plans to instal toilets at Midday Sun, Sanderstead and Orchard Avenue allotments, and to repair the site hut roof at Mickleham Way. All sites will also get new signage, a noticeboard and plot markers.”

Allotments help to bring people together – and are a great source of excellent, fresh food

There are also plans to maximise and diversify the offer on allotments, including the re-commissioning of unused allotment plots, introducing raised bed plots for disabled users and the creation of new plots to reduce waiting lists.

In areas unsuitable for cultivation, the council will look to introduce beehives to help pollinate crops and increase yields. The Croydon division of the Surrey Beekeepers are already based at Hartley Down and will support the council to ensure high standards of beekeeping are maintained.

The announcement has been made in National Allotments Week, which seeks to raise the profile of how these small plots of land can help people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities.

Peter Hargreaves, 70, grows vegetables and cut flowers with his partner, Christine, at Hartley Down Allotment. Finding himself bored after taking early retirement, he came across the site by accident in July 2010, and became inspired by what he saw.

“With never having owned a garden and living in a flat it quickly became a wonderful passion,” Hargreaves said.

“Totally absorbing, in the fresh air, keeping me fit, body and mind. I was able to make the most of the space, developing raised beds, structures to support and protect crops and create a small pond for wildlife.”

For more information about the allotments around the borough, click here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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