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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
CommunityLargest allotment site in Rochdale opens

Largest allotment site in Rochdale opens

A 15,000 square metre allotment has opened at Great Howarth near Wardle – the first and largest site opened in the borough since the seventies.

The site, which took 10 months to complete, now boasts 140 plots thanks to local Red Fox Countryside Services.

The first 100 were released as part of the council’s £240,000 commitment to double the number of allotments from 500 to 1,000.

The secure open-plan new-style site has been designed to maximise growing capabilities and efficient land use, and includes additional benefits such as 14 self-filling water troughs, a first-class drainage system, 520 metres of mesh anti-climb security fencing, and a car park for 17 vehicles; all adding to the attractiveness of the site.

The school at Great Howarth, located directly next to the allotment, has been allocated two plots as part of the development for planting projects; they will also be helping to plant and grow 240 trees over winter.

In addition, there has also been space allocated for community groups, with raised planters available, and the accessible paths throughout the site provide easy access for people of all abilities.

Waiting list

There are more than 1,500 people currently on the waiting list for an allotment, so to help reduce waiting time some overgrown and unused land on existing sites has been converted to increase the number of plots.

When larger plots are returned, they will be split into several smaller plots, and the council will take a more proactive approach in dealing with non-cultivation by existing holders.

Councillor Liam O’Rourke said: “These new allotments at Great Howarth will allow us to speed up the allocation of sites, which we understand is often frustrating to our residents who have been on the waiting list for a long time.

“Being the largest site in the borough, we expect the site to be popular as we know allotments have always been a great way to get people outdoors, which boosts moods, encourages fruit and vegetable growth, and saves money along the way. It has been a long time coming, but what a way to make an impact, which can only benefit the land and our residents.”

The council also urges schemes to ask new and existing plot owners to donate surplus foods to local food banks to help give back to the community.


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