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Aug 08 2012

National Allotment Week in Harrow

It’s National Allotment Week this week (6-12 August 2012) and Harrow residents with green fingered ambitions can still get in on the act.

Like most London Boroughs, Harrow has a waiting list for popular sites but the good news is we still have vacant allotment patches in South Harrow if you are looking at next season – and now is the time to register your interest.

With over 1,300 plots in the borough on 33 different sites, Harrow residents have been making the most of their green and leafy borough.  Harrow Council works closely with residents and ‘Harrow in Leaf’ to promote and encourage the use of allotments in the borough. The result is an army of green growers.

John Salter is one such allotment holder. He has an allotment patch at Newton Park East: “Allotments are such a valuable resource that give people the space to pursue their passions. They offer plenty of fresh air and exercise plus the benefit of one’s efforts in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is such an inclusive activity which attracts people from all ages and backgrounds generally willing to help each other, share tips, stories, and of course their produce.”

John believes the support available locally is a big incentive to plot holders: “Local Horticultural Societies such as the one at Newton Park have a fantastic trading shed providing seeds and composts and are a focus for social activities such as shows, BBQs and outings.”

Portfolio holder for Environment and Community Safety, Cllr Phillip O’Dell said: “National Allotment week is a great opportunity to celebrate the great number of residents in Harrow who enjoy our allotment facilities all year round. Our allotment patches are always in high demand, but unlike other borough’s were waiting lists have closed to new applicants, there is still a limited number available to support new growers and gardeners. So many residents make excellent use of this council facility, growing vegetables and flowers. They are not only helping the environment, but also benefiting from fresh, healthy produce an important factor for families across Harrow. It is also an excellent way of keeping fit and active.”

Most Harrow allotments have site representatives who liaise with Harrow Council on any issues or relevant updates on each site.

Harrow Council has 33 allotment sites. The cost per year is approximately £30 for a five pole plot. There are 1382 used plots across the borough with a limited number of vacant sites available.

For enquires on allotments or information on how to get started contact the council’s allotment team on 0208 901 2605 or visit www.harrow.gov.uk/allotments

Cllr. Susan Hall, Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “Harrow’s 40 hectares of allotments are one of the reasons why our borough is considered a green and pleasant place to live, and our loyal allotment users deserve the best facilities possible. When I was portfolio holder I spent many, many hours visiting allotments and meeting with users, and we rewarded their dedication and hard work with £100,000 of investment in our allotments.

This was the largest single investment in Harrow’s allotments for 50 years, and paid for better security and drainage at the sites, as well as making sure they were all properly marked out. Our allotments and our commitment to them should be celebrated, so I’m really pleased to see the Council making an effort to ensure all our plots are used and cared for.”

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