Page 59 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 59

      Some good news in Fenny Compton
It’s not often you hear of new allotments opening, but such is the case in a little corner of southern Warwickshire. Like many villages around the country, years ago Fenny Compton used to have established and well-used allotments; the name Allotment Field proudly
listed on old maps of the village. But
in the 1980s the pastime dropped out of favour and the allotments fell into disrepair. 35 years later however, the growing interest in organic gardening and the need to lessen fuel miles encouraged the call for new allotments to be created. So, back in 2015, as part of a new housing development, a small corner of a field was allocated for the provision of new allotments and it took many months and many site visits to finally get them up and running.
Initially there were only 10 people interested in having a plot, but The Fenny Compton Allotment Association worked extremely hard, overcoming tremendous bureaucracy and tonnes of builders’ rubble to create 18 long, 3-meter-wide plots. Interest soon grew and as the perimeter fence went up and the plots emerged from healthily growing rye grass, more people came forward to express an interest. Each plot is divided in half, with some allotmenteers choosing to have only one half, enabling someone else to enjoy the other. The site is heavy clay and at the time of writing, has been
challenged somewhat by what seems like constant rain since last October. However, allotmenteers, as anyone will tell you, never say never, and many have crops of garlic, onions and brassicas
in situ despite this rain. Looks like the spuds will have to wait a while, though. As well as having clay soil, the site is also sloping. For some, this has meant implementing raised beds or railway sleepers to create a mezzanine effect of stepped growing areas. Despite
the ground holding the water, in the summer the temperatures can soar as the site catches the sun for most of the day, and there are rumours that melons and other Mediterranean delights will be flourishing there by July this year.
Many of the plotholders are new to gardening and just enjoy the thrill
of sprinkling a few seeds to see
what comes up. Others are very knowledgeable and are happy to share and pass on their skills. As with any allotment anywhere in the country, there is much talking and leaning on forks or spades when the weather is right, and the site is busy. Parallel to the allotment site is a public right of way, which encourages walkers to pause and chat too. The site finally opened in May last year, just in time to take part in the bi-annual Fenny in Flower and Open Gardens event. At that time there wasn’t a great deal to see, but it certainly sparked interest and put the new
allotments firmly on the village map. The site is protected from development for 125 years, which could amount to several hundred tonnes of fruit, veg and flowers just waiting to be grown.
Jacci Gooding
      Allotment and Leisure Gardener 59

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