Ottery’s new 95 allotments prove popular with gardeners

Councillors Ian Holmes and Glyn Dobson at the allotments in Ridgeway which they and gardeners have h

Councillors Ian Holmes and Glyn Dobson at the allotments in Ridgeway which they and gardeners have hailed a success since developing them three years ago. CREDIT: Thomas Galli - Credit: Archant

Ottery’s new allotments have been given the green thumbs up by users as part of a ‘successful’ transformation project.

Land at Ridgeway was acquired by the developer Redrow as part of a Section 106 deal for its development in Butts Road, which included building on the town’s old allotment.

In 2015, the developer handed the site over to the town council, which has ploughed thousands of pounds in to create 95 plots, with a number of allotments accessible for disabled users.

Councillors Glyn Dobson and Ian Holmes have managed the project since the start and said the hard work to turn the field from somewhere people feared things would never grow into a quiet haven for gardeners was worth it.

Cllr Dobson said: “At the start some said ‘nothing will ever grow in there’ and this year has been really good. It was hard work to start with. It is a successful project.

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Cllr Holmes added: “We already had them and they were taking them away so they had to put a new one in somewhere.”

There is also car parking next to individual allotments, as well as sheds, water troughs and rabbit proof fencing.

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Since opening, the allotments have attracted owners with a wealth of experience from the long term to those itching to grow their own food.

Tony Carter has spent the last two decades owning allotments in the town, and along with his partner Pat Maud, he has owned his current plot since the site opened three years ago.

He said: “It was hard work when we took it on. You just have to keep it going all year round. It’s fantastic and everybody is really good; it’s a real improvement.

Tom Davies, a chef at the London Inn, put his name on the list as soon as he moved to Ottery so that he could grow produce to use in his dishes.

The chef said: “They were all new, that’s what was nice about it. It’s the best set up; there are water troughs, rabbit fencing. The council has done a really good job here.”

Emily Ings has had her allotment for a year after coming across the Ridgeway site by accident with her partner.

She added: “We do not have much of a garden and we really wanted to grow food and I didn’t want to do in pots.

“Everything has grown well, I have been really lucky for my first year.”

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