Bountagu have been linked with the allotment for a number of years, ever since one of our resident volunteers invited us to get involved on her plot, and use it to help connect the community. In 2019 we conducted a full-scale cutback of the overgrown parts and began a re-start of the project. Since lead volunteer Claire got involved in 2020 and started setting direction and leading by example, we have been able to invite more residents to get involved and partner with local groups.
The plot is a short turnip’s-throw from Westbourne Hall (Eastbournia Ave). Neighbours have donated seedlings and edible plants, and often come along to share their experience and donate some hard work or words of encouragement. A watering rota of volunteers this summer has seen it flourish, and we now run a drop-in session each weekend for anyone to turn up and lend a hand how they feel able.
With some help from friends, volunteers, and friendly allotment-neighbours, we’ve refenced the plot, rebuilt the raised planters, marked out areas for herbs, trees and other plants, as well as flowers and shrubs to attract pollinator insects.
We hope eventually to have a little ‘kitchen-shed’ for making cuppas for hard workers and visitors, to go with our picnic seating area. We have donated produce to local residents and food banks, and are looking forward to more local partnerships, including connections with local children’s groups and nurseries, and community groups.
The Community Allotment Project is funded by Bountagu’s Environment and Outdoor Spaces team.
Partnership with Enfield Clubhouse
In early 2020, we partnered with Enfield Clubhouse – a small, independent charity helping people with mental health issues find and sustain social lives and supportive relationships, and lead purposeful lives in the community. One day a week since then, their member volunteers take over the space, lending their hard work to help the project’s viability, digging, planting, watering, building, and of course, harvesting and eating!
‘It’s just been incredible. Because lots of these guys, even though they’ve known each other for up to 15 years, many of them have been really isolated for the last year and they haven’t actually seen each other physically.’ Maia (Lead Volunteer: Enfield Clubhouse)
‘I have been coming here the last couple of months, and it’s a really healthy outlet for me. Potential of eating some fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s all out in the fresh air, and it’s a good way of getting healthy.’ Patrick (Member: Enfield Clubhouse)
‘We’ve been given a plot of ground to grow stuff with. If we grow too much we’re giving it away to foodbanks.’ Chris (Member: Enfield Clubhouse)