FARMING MATTERS: Taking a visit to some very smart allotments

Members of Ashbrook Allotment Association in Wendover.  From left to right, shareholder Graham Newman, shareholder Robin Beattie, visiting farmer Geoff Brunt and association secretary John Currell. Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt

Members of Ashbrook Allotment Association in Wendover. From left to right, shareholder Graham Newman, shareholder Robin Beattie, visiting farmer Geoff Brunt and association secretary John Currell. Picture copyright Heather Jan Brunt

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Allotment holders regularly ask my husband if they can buy a load of cattle manure to nurture their plots and recently I accompanied him when he went to visit Ashbrook Allotments on the Aylesbury Road in Wendover.

I’ve seen quite a lot of allotments over the years but never one so neat and tidy as Ashbrook.

The communal grassed areas and pathways are all neatly mown, and the plots are generally well tended - I particularly liked the brightly coloured garden sheds .

On the Sunday morning we visited the place was buzzing with a real community feel as plot holders enjoyed chatting in between tending to their produce.

Rather than being owned by the council, these particular allotments are owned by an association of the people who work them.

Approximately 30 plot holders are shareholders, and the rest are tenants who pay £2 per pole (the measurement for allotments) per year to the association.

Last year the allotment holders started an honesty manure heap whereby they collectively ordered a load of manure and charged £1 per barrowload.

This seems to be working very well, especially for smaller plot holders who don’t require an entire load, and so looks set to continue.