Keeping the plot

PUBLISHED: 13:45 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 15:12 12 May 2010

Left: Mark Donagain and his son James, 11, top: MP Oliver Heald with association chairman Tony Churchman and bottom: Claire Estherby and her husband Paul with the winning entry in the Dutch tray competition

Left: Mark Donagain and his son James, 11, top: MP Oliver Heald with association chairman Tony Churchman and bottom: Claire Estherby and her husband Paul with the winning entry in the Dutch tray competition

THE typical allotment holder has changed with more young people becoming involved. Five years ago we had mostly elderly people working an allotment, but now the young are becoming more involved, said Neil Guttridge, of the Royston Allotments and Gardens

THE typical allotment holder has changed with more young people becoming involved.

"Five years ago we had mostly elderly people working an allotment, but now the young are becoming more involved," said Neil Guttridge, of the Royston Allotments and Gardens Association.

He was speaking after the association's open day at the Coombes Hole allotments in Royston on Sunday.

The event attracted visitors throughout the day, who included Royston's MP Oliver Heald and half-a-dozen councillors.

"We were impressed by the turn out," said Mr Guttridge. "It showed that councillors were showing an interest."

The allotment site is owned by Royston Town Council and there is now a waiting list of at least two-and-half years before a plot becomes available.

"The waiting list shows there is a lot of interest from people wanting to grow there own produce," said Mr Guttridge. "A year ago people were spending about 18 months on the waiting list.

"There is a demand for plots and about half the people who now have allotments are young," he said.

In a competition for a decorated shed Mark Donagain was the winner with his creation of a tank. "It was just something I thought up out the top of my head," he said.

For the second year running Claire Estherby and her husband Paul won the Dutch tray competition.

Mr Guttridge added: "It was a worthwhile day and we were impressed by the number of people who came to have a look around.


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