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Clean-up marks start of Sefton allotment consultation

Sefton Council staff and volunteers have come together to give a boost to a Crosby allotment site in the week the Council’s Green Sefton team has launched a new public consultation on the future of the Borough’s allotments.

clean-up day at Crosby’s Scape Lane allotments
clean-up day at Crosby’s Scape Lane allotments

Supported by ten or more of the site’s tenants, Crosby’s 4th Scout leaders and Crosby Rotary, the clean-up day at Crosby’s Scape Lane allotments saw waste removed and plots restored. The first skip was filled in in two and half hours and surplus plant pots have been donated to Green Sefton’s Natural Alternatives scheme at Southport’s Botanic Gardens.

The clean-up comes as Green Sefton begin the consultation to develop a long-term allotments strategy to ensure local residents can get the best out of them.

Current allotment holders, people on the waiting list for an allotment and also the general population are being asked to take part in the questionnaire which can be found on Sefton Council’s Consultation Hub at https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/ and is open until Friday 13th August 2021. 

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Allotments have proved themselves to be an invaluable asset for tenants throughout the lockdown, remaining open when other services closed. The Council has been active in the last year in targeting issues on our allotment sites and helping tenants to get some plots back into use as some people have struggled to visit sites owing to being vulnerable to Coivd-19.

Beautiful allotment in Birkdale
Beautiful allotment in Birkdale

“We have supported efforts to remove waste at sites and have been working with Allotment Associations to give a boost to sites in the future.

“We are now launching this consultation, which will help us develop a strategy to maximise the use of allotments and the satisfaction of allotment holders.”

Demand for Sefton’s allotments is high and has grown during the pandemic, which means waiting times for a plot can be long. Uncultivated plots are re-let, and some half-plots have been made available to increase the opportunities for people to get started.

The survey asks users their views on current allotment provision and facilities and people on the waiting list their motivation for wanting an allotment. Feedback will be used to formulate the new 10-year strategy.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Ford ward Councillor and allotment holder, said: “As well as being very rewarding, allotment gardening can be good for your physical and mental health and your social life. I am pleased to see Green Sefton progressing the development of an Allotments Strategy. I would urge anyone with even the slightest interest to head over to the consultation on our Your Sefton Your Say website and to have their say on growing the future of Sefton’s allotments.”

clean-up day at Crosby’s Scape Lane allotments
clean-up day at Crosby’s Scape Lane allotments

There are 14 allotment sites in Sefton. Some are managed by the Council and others by Allotment Associations. Plots are usually about 250 square metres and cost just £108 per year for rental of a full plot.

Allotment gardeners usually grow vegetables although some cultivate fruit and flowers as well. Allotments can also be used as a leisure garden and tenants can keep chickens and rabbits are allowed. Bees can also be kept on allotments providing the Green Sefton team is informed in advance.

Tenants are expected to visit, maintain and cultivate their plot to a reasonable Standard and inspections are carried out from time to time. Tenants not meeting requirements may have their tenancy terminated.