GREEN-FINGERED Padiham residents and groups are being encouraged to back a £100,000 lottery bid to create a community allotment in the town.
After two years of hard work, Padiham Fennyfold Allotment and Poultry Society has done all the preparation necessary to proceed with a full application to the Big Lottery’s Local Food programme for an allotment on a currently derelict plot on the site at the end of Park Road.
The society is now looking for local groups and organisations to get involved and show their support in order for the scheme to have the best chance of success.
Developed with support from Groundwork Pennine Lancashire and Lancashire County Council, the aim of the project is to provide an informal learning environment for individuals and groups where they can find out more about growing, gardening, healthy lifestyles and food.
Under plans drawn up by the association the new-look allotment will include communal garden areas, seating, compost bay, polytunnel, raised beds and a community hub building to house tea and coffee making facilities and a classroom.
Miss Jane Towers, who has been involved with the project since the beginning, said the bid will be submitted in early April but stressed it needs the support of community groups in the town. She said the benefits of having a garden for the whole town to enjoy would be huge, improving people’s health and wellbeing and encouraging healthy eating.
“I had my allotment for four years and the benefits were fantastic. It was so nice in the afternoon to go down and do a bit of gardening. The things that I grew tasted 100% better. When you taste something that you’ve grown you just think ‘wow.’”
Miss Towers said she had noticed an increase in the number of families with young children looking for an allotment.
Burnley Borough Council currently provides 11 allotment sites with 312 plots and some of the parish councils also manage sites. Many areas have their longest waiting lists in years.
At the allotments at Palace House, in Middlesex Avenue, Burnley, the waiting list is the longest since 1994.
There are 385 people waiting for allotments and a survey by the council has revealed a shift towards a younger age group wanting to grow their own vegetables with 45% of those on the waiting list aged between 31 and 45.
Anyone interested in backing the bid should call Miss Towers on 07900 114 800.