Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 6 November 2021
THREE NEW ‘easy access’ allotment plots in Desford, which were created by Desford Allotments Association (DAGA) with Desford Parish Council, were formally opened last week (25 October).
The new allotments were formally opened by Coun. Martin Cartwright (Lib Dem, Groby), who serves as Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, Licensing, Environmental Health and Rural Affairs.
Half of a pre-existing standard allotment was transformed into three mini ‘easy access’ allotments, after the village’s Allotments Association and Parish Council recognised a need to make gardening ‘more accessible’ for all.
Desford Parish Council developed a plan for the plot and had taken advice from the National Allotments Association. The Association provided information on appropriate heights for a range of disabilities.
They suggested that one plot be used by wheelchair users, the other for ambulant gardeners, and the last for gardeners who will be able to garden from a sitting position.
Following these talks, three large-raised planters were developed, surrounded by hardstanding areas based on these heights.
A wheelchair-accessible double door shed was further built, to store storage and refuge, as well as an ‘all-important’ bench, so that plot holders can rest and admire all of their hard work.
The works were funded by Desford Parish Council, with support from Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, who funded 50 per cost through a Parish and Communities Initiative Grant (PCIF).
Many attended the opening – including Coun. Joyce Crooks (Lib Dem, (Newbold Verdon with Desford & Peckleton), members of the Council’s Allotment Working Group and the new plot users – Phil and Lin Taylor and Dave Snedker and Liz Snedker.
Phil Taylor, said: “These plots are ideal. We are in our 70s now [and] a full plot is just too much, but these give us an opportunity to continue to grow our own organic produce while maintaining social links with the community.”
Coun. Martin Cartwright thanked the Council for helping to make the allotments more accessible.
He said: “I was delighted to be asked to formally open the access for all plots at the allotments and to be able to chat with the plot owners, one of whom has tendered allotment plots for over 60 years.
“I would like to thank Desford Parish Council and the Allotment Association for making the allotments accessible to more people by this additional initiative.
“I am delighted that the PCIF grant made the project possible.”
He further reminded people that the closing date for new grant applications is January 7, 2022.