VISIT TO… Webb Lane Community Allotments

In this blog series, we discuss a recent visit to a Green Community Hub. This time, our Project Manager Sam visited Webb Lane Community Allotments in Stockport…

“Another week, another trip to visit a great community green space. The Northern Network is all about connecting Green Hubs and investigating how we can help each other and share learning. Somewhere that definitely is embodying this spirit is Webb Lane Community Allotments in Stockport.

“I was introduced to this site through Ian, who came along to some of our consultation sessions. One of the many hats he wears is the North West Chair of the National Allotment Society, and he told me I had to come and visit his local site. They have been on quite a transformational journey over the past few years!

“Meeting myself and Ian at the allotments was Mike, who has been instrumental in the changes that have taken place here. Over a brew and a biscuit, they told me about the attitude they fostered on site. Mike’s mantra is inclusivity; and as secretary of the committee, he has been pivotal in making this idea run right through the whole site. In practical terms, this means: ensuring that plot holders feel involved with decisions made by the committee; making sure that the allotment is run in a democratic and fair manner; and creating a scheme for local residents to join as associate members so that they can attend open days and use the allotment shop.

“Some of the additional projects Mike has developed include working with Creative Support, a local charity supporting adults with additional needs. They have since secured funding for a new purpose-built kitchen and accessible toilet on the site so that their clients have a dedicated space to cook the food grown on their plot, and to keep themselves clean and tidy. There are also benches and wheelchair-accessible raised beds so that the group can fully make it their own.  

“Mike has also worked with a local GP and practice nurse to develop a growing project that enables socially prescribed patients to use the allotment for well-being sessions. Mike was also keen to point out the plots managed by local families; providing people with little green space at home, with a place to play football and relax together. Mike is keen that the allotments are a place where children can learn about the benefits of growing fruit and veg, and the positive effect this can have on their local environment and they have welcomed school groups onto the allotment too. This allotment has a friendly, community-focused atmosphere; highlighted by the many stories of plot-holders that Mike told me about as we wandered through the plots.

“Ian and Mike are so proud of what has been achieved by the allotment that they are seeking to make it into a demonstration site for the National Allotment Society in order for other allotment coordinators to use it as inspiration for their own site.

“This was certainly an inspirational visit for me, to see what can be achieved by the whole community coming together in one green space. I left feeling excited about how the Network could support this group, and how we could share the message of Webb Lane and encourage growing of all sorts around the North of England.”

Find out more about Webb Lane Community Allotments below.

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