Date: July 2021

From bare to blooming

The great British allotment has seen something of a revival in the last 12 months, according to The Guardian, ‘Applications for council-run allotments in England have soared during the coronavirus pandemic’ as people search for the satisfaction of growing their own. There are an estimated 330,000 allotment plots in England alone, but with the stark rise in applications, waiting lists have increased and many are having to wait as long as 18 months to get their hands on a wheelbarrow.

It’s no secret that owning an allotment can provide you with delicious fresh fruits and vegetables to feed you, your family or neighbours, but did you know it is also proven to have a number of significant benefits on your mental and physical wellbeing?

Just an hour or two out in nature and sunshine can provide you with some precious vitamin D, naturally keep your body moving, and help you connect with the outside world. Tending to an allotment is also a fantastic way to keep socialising, especially in the time of COVID-19. It’s the perfect place to meet up with or make new friends, bond over your love of nature, or maybe even exchange some greenfingered tips.

Spending time in nature is a great way to maintain your mental health, if you’re interested in reading more about the benefits, check out our previous blog post on nature and wellbeing here.

For all these reasons, the Crediton Community Allotment was born. Crediton Community allotment was set up as part of our Healthy Neighbourhoods project to provide a space for local residents to come and enjoy being together safely while learning how to grow food. It’s open to all members of our community, young and old, as a space of health, learning and of course, food! It’s perfect for those who might still be on a waiting list or perhaps don’t have the time to maintain their own allotment full time.

From a jungle of grass and weeds, the Crediton Allotment has grown from strength to strength in the two years it has been open. A new workshop shed takes centre stage on top of the allotment hill. With the help of wonderful volunteers, it has been kitted out with storage shelves, blackboard and a workbench with views across the whole of Crediton. The Allotment team has been resourceful and supported by many generous donations from the community. This space has blossomed. Raised beds were created from recycled pallets and decking, and the beautifully kept garden tools which hang proudly at the top of the hill were donated by a lovely local resident’s late husband.

The allotment is a picture of hard work, kindness and coming together of the community. Out of the overgrown thorns and weeds,  a beautiful space has been uncovered.  

As things begin to open up more, the Allotment team are hoping to run group sessions on how to grow and cook allotment produce as well as continue to develop the space as a thriving hub for local residents to benefit from and enjoy. Everyone is welcome.

For more information about the allotment and how you can get involved, please contact Katheryn Hope, Activity and Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected]