In September 2016 we received a letter from Pathways, our landlord, that it intended to build on 10% of the allotments. But, this week, Pathways officially informed us that it will now NOT be building on Northfield allotments. 

There has been a substantial changeover of trustees and a change in chief executive since the development was first announced. The new trustees feel that green space and allotments are important and so building on Northfields would not be the right thing to do. 
 
To officially know that the trustees have changed their decision to build on the allotments and understand the importance of green space is a wonderful result. As one plotholder put it: “I am awash with happiness at this news.”

I want to thank all of you for all the help and support you gave.

Northfield plotholders were always going to object because we’ve always known how valuable this green space is. It seems local residents and our politicians also felt it was valuable too and worth protecting. 

I believe that the public and cross-party political support was incredibly important. I’m sure it helped persuade the trustees that the allotments are loved by local residents – not just plot holders. 

Please let all your friends and neighbours know that the development will now NOT go ahead and do thank them for their support. 

Our summer open day is on Sunday 7thJuly - I do hope you’ll join us for tea and cake. The site should look at its best and I hope you’ll agree that it will be hard to imagine why anyone would want to cover it in concrete.

Christina Fox

Chair Ealing Dean Allotment Society

We started the Radbourne Walk clean up in February 2014 and held monthly volunteering days on the first Saturday of each month. We worked on one section at a time the volunteers removed litter, rubble, metal, plastic and glass. We found a lot more rubbish than expected and created enough rubbish for two skips. We cleaned the tarmac path to remove muddy puddles and turned over the soil and introduced wildflower annuals to the front section in four main areas. We removed unwanted plant species like Japanese Knotweed and we also added Stag beetle areas with log piles dug into the ground.

In November 2013 Christina Fox came to me with an idea to improve the path that runs beside the Allotments. I will let her explain How it all began . . .
Greater than the sum of their parts. If you try neat gin it's not that great, neither is tonic water. But, when you put the two together you have a winner. Sometimes ideas are like that. One on its own won't go anywhere - but put two discoveries together and you might have something special.
Inspiring moment No 1...

The Radbourne Walk Enhancement Plan
Environment creation
The first of the three main aims in the footpath enhancement plan is to turn this neglected area into a visually attractive and colourful place. To create an immediate impact with plants, I recommend using selective native cornfield annuals. One benefit of using annual plants is that they will grow quickly from seed within one year. Another important benefit of these plants is that in the long-term these species will eventually die out unless the soil is annually turned over.

Here are a few images that show glimpses of the allotments.

The first image (top left) shows hanger Hill Farm Diary that was occupied by Mr & Mrs C. Millard a Dairy Farmer. His wife worked in the diary which her husband Chas. millard was listed in the census as working "Out". To the right of the picture is the top of the allotments. A white gate can be seen at the top of what is now known as Radbourne Walk.

A picture of Hanger Hill Farm Dairy, c1904, at the corner of Mattock Lane and Dean Villas

1832 is an important date in the history of the site. This is when Charles James Blomfield, the Bishop of London, ensured the enclosure of the land for use as allotments. The original paperwork is in the London Metropolitan Archive. It is a little difficult to read - hence the question marks below. But, we think this is the best transcription available....

Portrait of C J Blomfield

HOW I GOT STARTED ON MY WEED INFESTED PLOT

So you reached the top of the waiting list and you now have the key to the allotment site – congratulations. Now the fun begins.

I was on the waiting list for about 3 years and I’ve had my plot since May 2011. So, I’m still a relative newbie. Some people have had plots for over 20 years.

This is a very personal view of how to get started – based on what I’ve learnt from making mistakes and talking to more experienced allotmenteers. I hope it helps.

A well cared for allotment plot

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