Allotment award winners 2016

London's oldest surviving allotment is facing the threat of being built on thanks to plans by its landlord to construct a new housing development on part of the allotment site. 

We desperately need to raise funds to pay for legal and specialist advice to help save our much loved allotments. 
If you can spare just a few pound we would be very grateful for your help and support.

 

https://www.gofundme.com/ealingdean

In early September 2016 the charity, Pathways, contacted plotholders at Northfield Allotments in Ealing to announce its proposal to build on 10% of the allotments. The development would include a five to six story block of social housing and four houses for sale to help fund the development.

Northfield Allotments are the oldest allotments in London. They were given by the Bishop of London to the people of Ealing in 1832, and are held as a permanent endowment. The charity Pathways is our landlord and the site is managed by a committee of seven plotholders. There are 141 plots.

OUR COMMUNITY

The plotholders are a diverse range of ages and nationalities. Twenty nine of our plotholders live in flats – this is their only garden. We have around 50 children who have a safe place to play and learn about fruit and veg and get a chance to see tadpoles, stag beetles, bats and hedgehogs.
There are more than 25 pensioners who have a place to grow their own food and there is always company, someone to talk to. You are never alone when you have an allotment. People are friendly here and we share seedlings and produce.

We have counted 27 different nationalities – the only qualification to getting a plot is a love of gardening and the patience to wait on our waiting list (currently 72 people).

OUR WILDLIFE

The hedgerow around the site is around 900m long and has been designated, by Ealing Borough council, a SINC - Site of Interest for Nature Conservation. It is an important and safe habitat for our hedgehogs, many nesting birds and insects. The allotments are a habitat for stag beetles, which are endangered and protected. With perfect timing the many visitors to our Halloween open day saw our bats flying around the site catching night flying insects.

NO CHOICE?

On the 25th September at a special general meeting, the plotholders unanimously voted to oppose Pathways’ plans to concrete over the allotments.
We understand that social housing is important – but so are green open spaces. It shouldn’t have to be a choice of one or the other. We believe Pathways’ trustees have not fully considered alternatives to their proposal to ‘temporarily’ move 18 residents into what will be a permanent development on the allotments.

We believe a permanent endowment should be permanent.

OUR CONCERN

The original allotments were much larger than they are today: 60% of the allotments were lost in the 1970s due to compulsory purchase by the council and building by Pathways. Our concern is that if planning permission is granted this time around it will be easier to lose more allotment land in the future as the pressure for housing so close to a Crossrail station increases.

When we lose green space we never get it back.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Please write to your local councillors to let them know what you think of the proposal.
  • Write to the Ealing Gazette and Ealing and Northfield forums.
  • Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with what is going on.
  • We need specialist help, especially once the plans are submitted to Ealing Council. This will cost money. So, please help by donating whatever you can to our fighting fund.

Please help us protect the allotments for another 184 years.

Many thanks for all your help and support.

The Ealing Dean Allotment Society.

I’m going to leave the final word to Fran, one of our plotholders (who will lose her plot if the development goes ahead)…

“My allotment means a lot to me - we live in a third floor social housing flat with no access to a garden of our own. In 18 months my daughter and I have transformed the plot from weeds and brambles to our own little patch of heaven and my daughter has learned so much she never would have been able to before, from where our food comes from to the lifecycle of the frog - and she now wants to be a gardener when she grows up.”


None of us have an allotment to win awards - we just enjoy gardening and being outdoors on our plots growing the things we love.

However, the committee do feel it is good to commend those who tend their plots almost everyday.  Their time and effort shows in every cabbage, every strawberry and every flower…and that should be celebrated.  So this year, we asked one of the Haslemere committee to judge which plots should be celebrated as winners - the results are below:

EDAS open day - Award Winners
 

Best Contemporary Allotment

  • winner: Lucian and Maria Stan (plot 195)
  • runner up: Clara Nissen (plot 233)

EDAS open day - Best contemporary plot award winners  EDAS open day - Best contemporary plot award winners

EDAS open day - Best Contemporary
 

EDAS open day - Best Contemporary Plot
 

Best Traditional Allotment

  • winner: Patrick O’Kelly (plot 228)
  • runner up: Joe Hughes (plot 182+184)

EDAS open day - Best traditional plot award winner

EDAS open day - Best Traditional Allotment
 

Best Flower Garden

  • winner: Dominique Coiffait (plot 240B)

EDAS open day - Best flower garden award winner 

EDAS open day - Best flower garden EDAS open day - Best flower garden
 

Best Beginner

  • winner: Tana Scott (plot 147)
  • runner up: Damian Reilly (plot 171A)

EDAS open day - Best beginners award winners
 

EDAS open day - Best Beginner

EDAS open day - Best Beginner
 

Best Newcomer

  • winner: Andrew Parfit (plot 163A)
  • runner up: Christian and Olenka Chilton (plot 183A)

EDAS open day - Best Newcomer

EDAS open day - Best Newcomer
 

Best Shed awarded to Simon Coleman (plot 198)


EDAS open day - Best Shed EDAS open day - Best Shed
 

Best Cabbages awarded to Joe Sleator (plot 186B)

 

Finally, a couple of "overall" awards:

  • Best Allotment on Site awarded to Barbara Ingram (plot 196)

  EDAS open day - Best Allotment on Site

  • Visitors’ Favourite Allotment awarded to Dominique Coiffait (plot 240B)

EDAS open day - Vistors' favourite plot award winner
 

 

 

If you are struggling to know what to do with your plot then I would urge you to take the time to visit these plots for inspiration - they are all very different but they all have something to admire.  It is great to see what can be achieved.

Congratulations to all our winners

 

Christina Fox

On behalf of the Ealing Dean Allotment Society