Home Proud to be Independent

Although managed by the Cheshire East Council for many years, contact between the individual plot holders and the council was difficult to coordinate. In an attempt to resolve this issue, a few plot holders got together and decided to form a society in 2011. Regular contact with the council was re-established, and work undertaken jointly to regenerate the site. Though the site continued to be directly administered by the council, the association works to improve and maintain the site was carried out by the society, for the greater enjoyment of its members, and to improve its visual amenity value for the local community.

As a group of community-minded volunteers we came up with a solution to protect our allotment site on Lincoln Road, Handforth on land owned by Riverside and currently leased to Cheshire East.

The committee volunteers of Dean Row Allotment Society, decided to take matters into our own hands and met with Riverside Housing, Cheshire East Council and Wilmslow Town Council where it was agreed that the Dean Row Allotment Society would take over the lease from 1 November 2014 and become self-managed.

The allotment site is an exciting addition to the local community. Plots are provided on various sizes for anyone living in the Handforth area as well as community plots specifically for the tenants and residents of the Colshaw Farm Estate.

Owning an allotment can be great for your general well-being, relaxing, good for the environment, fun, fashionable and most importantly, it’s a pleasure. You can enjoy fresh seasonal vegetables, all with a flavour hard to beat and the satisfaction of boasting that “I Grew it myself.

Jeff Allen from Riverside said “These are excellent allotments and a real asset to Colshaw Farm, and whilst they have been well managed over recent years, I am certain with the enthusiasm and expertise that the Society has clearly demonstrated the scheme can only go from strength to strength”.

Riverside Housing, who owns the plot of land on Lincoln Road, Handforth, which was leased to Cheshire East, officially handed over a 50 year lease to Dean Row Allotment Society in a Halloween themed open day on 31st October 2014.

The society, through its volunteer members, encourage tenants to feel free to express their own individuality and creativity on their plots. The Council monitored plot utilisation and cultivation, by randomly timed site inspections, and is responsible for ensuring their conditions of tenancy are upheld.

It is our intention through this web site, to show the benefits that the formation of a society and a degree of self-help, can bring. By illustrating our successes, and our mistakes, we hope to provide a little guidance for other allotment holders wishing to improve and revitalise their plots.

We are also aiming to form links with other sites in the borough so that jointly we can continue to improve liaison with the Council, working to enhance facilities for all plot holders, and promote allotment gardening as an enjoyable and healthy pastime. At the same time, by creating attractive sites with greater visual amenity value, we hope to improve the ‘standing’ of allotment sites within the wider community.

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Stopping the Destruction of Allotments