Stukeleys residents root for new allotments

07/08/2013

Residents of Great and Little Stukeley celebrated the handover of their new community allotment scheme this week.
 
The project has been a collaboration between the Stukeleys Parish Council, the newly formed Stukeleys Allotment Society and landowners Urban&Civic and has created 17 allotments for local residents of the two Huntingdonshire villages.
 
Sue Parkin, Chairman of the Stukeleys Parish Council, said:
 
“We are absolutely thrilled with the allotments, which look fantastic and will be a valued resource for generations of residents. It has been great to see the partnership effort that has gone into the project: from the expertise and design of the engineers and landscapers working on Alconbury Weald, to Trevor Marks who has built it to such a high standard. We’re all just keen to get in and get planting!”
 
Tom Baker of Urban&Civic said:
 
“The project started when the Parish Council approached local landowners to enquire if there was any land that could be converted into allotments to meet local need. We had farm land on the edge of Great Stukeley, which we knew would be good productive soil in a convenient location for residents.
 
As discussions went on it was clear the parish needed some expertise to look at landscaping and design, water supply and carrying out the work, so we ended up calling on the expertise of our design team. The result is something really special, which reflects the environment and community around it.”
 
The design has drawn on best practice exemplars from across the UK supplied by the National Society for Allotments and Leisure Growers (NSALG) and from the landscape architects at Parkwood Consultancy Services (formerly Roger Griffiths Associates) who are part of the design team at Alconbury Weald.
 
Simon Watkins, the lead designer for the allotments said:
 
“The parish council and allotmenteers asked for a design which promoted a sense of community and was in keeping with the environment around it.  We developed a layout radiating from a central hub in an innovative octagon-square pattern naturally dividing the plots into full and half size and giving all plot holders easy access to communal facilities such as storage and water.  As well as the proposed clubhouse, there is space for the allotment community to add features as the project establishes – such as communal raised beds accessible to wheelchair users, coppice areas, plant nurseries and shared chicken run.  It’s really up to them how they develop it and I’m excited to see what they do once they get their spades in!”
 
The allotments have a rainwater store to be as sustainable as possible, and local contractor Trevor Marks who constructed the project designed a pump system which uses the rain collection pipe network to also provide water stations at a number of locations on the allotments – so that no-one has to walk too far to get water.
 
The communal clubhouse and storage area was designed free of charge by local architects Waterland Associates and the group are now applying for funding to get it built.
 
  
Background Information
 
The Stukeleys Allotments are for residents of Little and Great Stukeley and are situated at the top of Owl End in Great Stukeley. Anyone interested in taking an allotment should contact Michael Newman, Parish Council clerk on 01480 455365.
 
They are managed by the Stukeleys Allotment Society on behalf of Stukeleys Parish Council on land leased on a peppercorn rent from Urban&Civic, the developers of Alconbury Weald.
 
The Design team supporting the project included Simon Watkins and Ambler Reglar from Parkwood Consultancy Services; water and transport engineers from Peter Brett Associates; planning support from David Lock Associates and project management from Tom Baker at Urban&Civic.
 
Oundle-based Waterland Architects provided pro-bono design for the clubhouse.
 
Trevor Marks Farms were the contractors who delivered the scheme.
 
For more information about the allotments project and the development at Alconbury Weald please visit www.alconbury-weald.co.uk and www.urbanandcivic.com .
 
Media contact:  Rebecca Britton,  01480 413 141 / rbritton@urbanandcivic.com.