Work begins on new Halesworth allotments

THE planting of a tree marked a significant moment in Halesworth on Saturday as work began on a long awaited new allotment area.

The town council has had an extensive waiting list for allotments for many years and it is hoped a new site at Swan Lane will help to reduce this.

To mark the start of the work, Halesworth in Transition (HinT) and the town council held a ceremony where BBC Radio Suffolk’s Rob Dunger planted the first boundary tree.

The native tree sapling was one of 400 given to the project by RHS Britain in Bloom and the Woodland Trust as part of a nationwide give away. In total the groups gave 200,000 tree saplings away for them to be planted at events across the country last weekend.

In Halesworth the trees are going to be used as the boundary between the new allotment site and the current playing field area.

Saturday’s initial planting marked the culmination of many years work for the town council, who first received planning permission in August 2009. Recently they have been working in close partnership with HinT to help the project come to fruition.

Sandra Leverett, chair of the town council, said: “There has been a great need for allotments as the town has a very lengthy waiting list and just two sites at the moment.

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“I think it is a wonderful opportunity for the Halesworth community and it comes down to a lot of hard work, time and effort, mainly by people who are volunteers who give up their time willingly for the community.”

The allotments will be on a part of the Swan Lane playing field that was identified as an under-used space.

It is not known exactly how many plots there will be, however there will be special raised beds for the elderly and disabled, a HinT plot, and a community allotment plot where people can practice gardening skills and share produce.

Linda Owen, from HinT, said: “We are hoping to try to fit in as many people on the waiting list. We are hoping to have about 25 plots with three raised beds for disabled and elderly. There are people on the waiting list in wheelchairs and disabled so we tried to cater for everyone across the board.”

On Monday, Karen Kenny, from the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardens, spoke to those involved about how to run allotments and the joys gardening for vegetables and fruit can bring.

It is hoped that the new allotments will be up and running by September.