A Community Garden is a plot of land which is looked after by the community – a group of people who like gardening and are eager to put their free time and effort into the development and upkeep of a garden for the wider public to enjoy. This need not be just a flower garden; where there is room vegetables can be grown a distributed locally, either by selling them or by donating them to worthy recipients as well as the gardeners.
The size of a community garden is entirely dependent on the availability of land, a small plot for a selection of flowering plants and some annuals, right up to flower borders, vegetable patch and an orchard.
A suitable piece of land has been found in Ingersley Vale!!
This group has been established in March 2012 for the purpose of restoring to good use the walled garden at Ingersley Hall. See the page devoted to this project.
Allotments are also popular and in very short supply in Bollington, but demand is increasing rapidly as the rising price of food drives folk to consider the merits of growing their own. In fact they are in short supply in many places. Cheshire East Council (CEC) have a problem borough wide with the recent sharp rise in demand for allotments. Acquiring suitable land which meets requirements is very difficult. Bollington Town Council (BTC) are pressing the issue and have asked that an item for ‘Allotments’ appears on every town council meeting agenda.
BTC have a list of up to 40 people waiting for allotments and Cllr Shirley Sockett (BTC, MBC) and Andrea Paterson, Bollington Town Hall Assistant, are working hard to find new land. Cllr Ken Edwards (CCC) and Cllr Ted Clunn (BTC) are also very active.
There are presently three allotment areas in Bollington …
- Bollington Cross. Situated behind the Leisure Centre, this area is leased by BTC from MBC. BTC collect the rents and manage the site. It is thought that one more plot can be squeezed out of a strip of land at the very edge of the site and this is likely to be offered to the first person on the waiting list. The ground is in bad condition and will require a lot of very hard work to bring it into production. This allotment area has benefited from the installation of a water supply in 2005. This was put in by United Utilities as part of their package of thanks for the town’s having to put up with their sewer excavations throughout that year.
- Lowerhouse. There have been allotments at Lowerhouse for almost 200 years when they were established by Samuel Greg soon after he took Lowerhouse Mill in 1832. The area under cultivation has decreased in the past few decades, due to house building and expansion of the mill, and just one area remains. This area is owned by the Heathcote family and they manage and rent out the plots.
- Harrop Road. This piece of land was acquired from Cheshire East Council by Bollington Town Council in 2011. Please apply at Bollington town hall for details of available plots. Harrop Road allotments are on the hill between Ingersley Road and Church Street and can be accessed via Chapel Street (off Church Street) and Harrop Road at the access to the TV transmitter.
The local authority, CEC, has a legal duty to provide space for allotments and community gardens. However, it is not clear to what extent they are required to meet actual demand.
John Kershaw (BTC tree warden) would like to establish a community orchard and is presently also searching for land. Clearly this could be closely associated with a community garden or with allotments.