Allotment interest is growing all the time!

Growing: Rod Stott and Rod Mellor of the Calderdale Leisure Gardeners at planned allotment site at Whitwell Green, Elland

Growing: Rod Stott and Rod Mellor of the Calderdale Leisure Gardeners at planned allotment site at Whitwell Green, Elland

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THE waiting list for allotments in Calderdale is nearing 600, according to Rod Mellor, of Calderdale Leisure Gardeners.

But, he said there was good council support to find new sites to meet a growing demand.

Mr Mellor said interest had been fuelled by increased publicity and interest in healthy food and people growing their own vegetables.

Elland, Sowerby, Southowram and Mytholmroyd are among areas where new allotment plots could be sited.

“We are chasing up new sites and Calderdale is flying the flag for allotments,” said Mr Mellor.

“There is a lot of support from Calderdale Council and a big demand for allotments.”

The council owns 36 allotment sites which provide more than 700 plots across the borough.

Fifteen of those sites are managed by allotment associations and there are also a few private allotments.

An allotment usually costs between £30 and £50 per year and in addition there is a water charge.

The recent meeting of the Calderdale Leisure Gardeners reported an increase in membership.

And it was decided that the annual allotment judging would take place during the week commencing July 16.

That is a week later than usual after growers reported produce was not at its best when judged a week earlier over the last few years.

Council allotments officer Pam Smithies said a consultant’s report was with the cabinet with regard to issues at Milner Royd, Sowerby Bridge, and it had been suggested the site should be retained for allotment use.

A site at Hopwood Lane, Halifax, is almost ready for use and that has 12 plots.

Guest speaker Phil Gomersal, from the Allotments Regeneration Initiative, showed slides from different allotment sites across West Yorkshire.