Residents plot new uses for allotment
A GROUP of residents in St Ann’s hope to turn a large area of disused land into a picnic area and vegetable garden for the whole community.
St Ann’s Projects, a resident-run organisation, has decided to revamp the old and run-down allotment off Blue Bell Hill Road to make the most of the green space available to residents.
Spade work: Martin Sommerville, Audrey Leach, Yvonne Cornejo, Aiden Brearley, Noah the dog, and Carly Williams at the allotment off Blue Bell Hill Road.
At a meeting held at the council-owned allotment, 70 people gathered and began to clear overgrown areas.
They also discussed how they would like to see the plot developed.
Carly Williams, of St Ann’s Projects, said: “A couple of years ago, my partner and I got some hanging baskets from the Nottingham in Bloom scheme. From there, we met other people who also cared about the look of the local area and the project began.
“We started talking about council-owned areas of land that needed developing and since then we have done a lot of planting in the area.
“The Blue Bell Hill allotment is quite overgrown at the moment and had a reputation of being used by drug users.
“But there was so much enthusiasm at the event we held on the plot that I think we will be able to develop it into a lovely area for everyone. It’s a great scheme.”
Suggestions raised at the meeting included putting in a picnic area, planting apple trees and flower beds and using old pottery to create mosaics.
Carly added: “We’ve had a lot of support from local children and parents. The idea is to turn the space into a community area for playing, walking, eating and relaxing.
“We have also been running a gardening club since September to care for the areas of land we have developed – so the Blue Bell Hill plot could be included in this too.”
St Ann’s Projects relies on funding from Nottingham in Bloom and donations from residents to keep itself running.
Stonebridge City Farm outreach worker Audrey Leach is also excited about the project.
She said: “The council is very supportive of the plans and we’re all very excited about it. I think it is a great opportunity to work towards challenging the reputation that St Ann’s has had.”
The gardening project at the Blue Bell Hill plot will be a regular event on the last Saturday of each month, with the first one happening today.
Anyone is welcome to get involved in the clean-up effort.
by Emily Winsor, Saturday 31st March 2012.