What better way to spend a Saturday morning than down the allotments? Craigentinny and Telforton allotments is run by committee and enables local individual, families, groups and charities to work plots of land in the community. I spent some time with them recently, discussing their work and the latest threat from a bid to build on the site.
There have been allotments at Telferton for over 90 years, throughout that time they have been worked and managed by generations of people from the surrounding area. The committee have turned Craigentinny and Telferton allotments into a limited company and registered charity. However, they do not own the land.
The plot holders have able to demonstrate an established use, that the site has been used as allotments continuously and uninterrupted since 1923. The site of 85 plots is well used and has an interesting history; some allotment holders have worked their plot for over 40 years, and a couple were married on their plot in 2000. They have now been independently recognised as having continuous use which impacts on the process the land owners would need to use to remove them.
Their campaign against the plans to build housing on the site has garnered widespread local support (including 3000 signatures on their online petition) and has my full backing. If they are successful in this campaign to save the allotments, the group have big plans for the future to avoid being in this situation again. Ideally the committee will be able to bring the allotments into community ownership, increasing its identity as a community resource and securing its long term future.
To hear more about the allotments and their campaign, take a look at their FaceBook page.