New allotments take shape – ready to rent by autumn?

John Swift takes a break in the wheelbarrow, as Martin Thomas, second left,  standing, draws up plans. Also in picture,  volunteers Mick Ridgway, Dave  Dusgate and Michael Darby

John Swift takes a break in the wheelbarrow, as Martin Thomas, second left,
standing, draws up plans. Also in picture, volunteers Mick Ridgway, Dave
Dusgate and Michael Darby

Councillors and volunteers, working in the intense heat at the newly restored section of the aptly-named Sunnybank Allotments near Memorial Park, are hoping that they will be complete and ready to rent by the autumn.

Cllr John Swift – dubbed ‘the foreman’ by the team – got a work party together to map out where the new allotments will go. Cllr Martin Thomas, Vice-Chair of Whaley Bridge Town Council, was responsible for putting the fourteen allotments, each 100 metres square, into the final map.  Ultimately these will join the existing allotments, which, with harvest festival levels of vegetables and fruit are reaching late summer maturity.

Cllr Swift says the site is an all day ‘sun trap’.  There is a waiting list of about 20 people at the town council offices in the Mechanics’ Institute.

Work began on the overgrown site last year.  The then council chair Anne Winter supplied tea and biscuits to the 15 volunteers who removed trees,  organised brushwood clearance, drainage and a water supply, which will have taps at three points when the allotments are completed.

Cllr Swift said: “The soil was heavy clay in most parts, with some areas very fertile.  The site will soon be able to live up to its name Sunnybank. Who knows what fruit and veg will be possible?”

For details about rents and availability, contact the town clerk at the Mechanics’ Institute, 01663 733 068.

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