The allotments have been at Diggle Lane since 1914. DLAA has been in place since 2004 and in 2006 we became self managed rather than being under the direct control of Bury Council. It was the best thing we ever did as subsequently we were free to apply for Grant funding in our own right. New Toilets, a Shop and a new Community Meeting room were built by our members with various grants from the Lottery, Community Foundation and Bury Local Area Partnership. The latest project this summer was the building of a Community undercover growing area where herbs, salads and vegetables were cultivated and became available to the local community and other Groups.
This was a huge success and we are creating another similar area so we can supply more fresh produce to our growing customer base. We have doubled the size of our car parks to cope with the expansion of plots and visitors where we have almost 50 on our waiting list - nearly as many as our current 65 plots.
The benefits of having an allotment are wide where not only is it good to grow and eat your own fresh local produce but it has a positive effect on mind and body. Over 30% of our plotholders are women and many have young families. The children gain so much from seeing how and where vegetables are grown and they are out in the fresh air. Elton Youth Centre have a plot and we have given talks and opened up opportunities to many Community Groups in learning about food and cultivation. The widely held view that allotments are about old men in cloth caps sitting in sheds is dispelled at Diggle Lane.
We have a strong social side where we go to Harrogate Show, have Summer BBQ's, Halloween and Bonfire night parties and an Xmas celebration. The Social Committee run the Shop and organise Plant Sales and Open days in the summer.
We feature in the Press and magazines very regularly and are recognised across the UK as an example and model for other allotment sites to follow.
Such is the success that we have the opportunity to extend from the allotment site into what we call 'The Forgotten Valley'. Whilst this adjacent land is not particularly suitable for more allotments it is a designated wildlife corridor and the only viable access is from the allotments. We have plans to create a Nature walk with wetlands , ponds and waterfalls with wildlife habitats so that this valley is opened up for the benefit of the public in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way.
As you can tell from the above we are a strong committed group with fantastic hardworking volunteers and we try to involve every plotholder in the 'family' and create an 'can do' atmosphere within our community.