Mary, or ‘Mary Muck’ as she’s affectionately known, has had a plot on Craven Vale since March 2019, after a long, five years on the waiting list. Living in a flat without a garden, she couldn’t wait to get her own outdoor space and get stuck in to growing organic, fresh and flavoursome food, as well as cutting down on wasteful ‘food miles’.
We are very lucky on our allotment site that we are part of the Whitehawk Hill Local Nature Reserve with its chalk grassland species of plants and insects. This means we can help protect some of these special creatures, including numerous bee species, by providing good habitat to support those living on the rest of the Local Nature Reserve.
Now is a great time to be harvesting one of our most underrated – yet free – superfoods. One way of using nettles is to make a soup – and it happens to be one I love.
Now that the sites’ taps have been turned back on, it’s tempting to connect up the hosepipe and spray every inch of our plots. Yet, there are things we can all do as plot holders to reduce our water usage and to use water more wisely.
On Saturday of the Easter Bank Holiday, a group of six volunteers from the allotments society came together to form a work party (now that Covid rules allow) to tidy up around the Hub, put up new noticeboards and erect a boundary fence.
Arthur took on his first Whitehawk Hill allotment seven years ago and was chuffed to get a shed as his Christmas present that year! Four years on, he was fortunate enough to be able to expand on to the neighbouring plot after it became vacant, so he now has two small, but very productive plots.
It’s quite common to see foxes on our allotments these days – once a denizen of the countryside this attractive bushy-tailed creature, common throughout the Northern Hemisphere, has also come to make towns and cities its home over the last few decades.
Andrew and Max have been gardening their Craven Vale plot for the last nine years, growing a range of fruit and vegetables, together with a fair number of ornamentals and flowers too.
If you’ve ever thought of ‘growing your own wine’, then now is a good time to start thinking about ordering your vines and laying out the structure of your new vineyard.
One animal that is likely to be living on your plot is the Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) which can make a home almost anywhere but is most commonly found in hedgerows, scrubland, grassland and deciduous woodland throughout the UK.