Derelict land brought back into use for community allotments

Allotment growers at Vickerman Street, Halifax
Allotment growers at Vickerman Street, Halifax

RESIDENTS will soon be growing their own produce in a built-up area of Halifax.

As part of the Vickerman Street improvement plan, twelve allotments have been created and several will have shared use.

And, on spare land on Vickerman Street there are plans for wild flowers and fruit trees enabling residents to pick their own free fruit.

Peter Oddy, of Calderdale Council’s streets team, said the new allotments bring back into use derelict land.

“We started on this site about 20 months ago,” he said.

“It had been left for five-and-a-half years and there were 6ft high brambles and other weeds,” he said.

With help from the Community Payback scheme run by the Probation Service the land was cleared and prepared for growing food.

Each plot covers around 85 square metres and they are available for people living within a mile of the site.

The council hopes the provision of the allotments will enable people in the community to learn from each other.

Rod Mellor, of Calderdale Leisure Gardeners, planted a Victoria plum tree to mark the opening.

He said Calderdale Council was fully behind efforts to provide more allotments and there were hundreds of people on waiting lists wanting a plot throughout the district.

“The council has said it would chase every bit of land we go after,” he said.

“It is fantastic what has been done here and I can see waiting lists growing.”

One plot will be used by the South Asian Ladies Neighbourhood Scheme, based at Queen’s Road, Halifax, and has been named GupShup which translates as chit-chat.

Council neighbourhood worker Tricia Astwood and scheme member Nagheena Haroon are looking forward to getting people involved from all age groups in growing their own food.

“This plot will have a lot of people working it,” said Mrs Haroon.

Growers, who will have their own key into the site, will be able to erect sheds and greenhouses on their allotment providing 75 per cent of plots are left cultivated.