More than 1,000 on allotment waiting lists

Growing together:  Catherine Mitchell with daughter Lucy and Harriet Johnston with son George on their allotment
Growing together: Catherine Mitchell with daughter Lucy and Harriet Johnston with son George on their allotment
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More than 1,000 people across Lancashire are on waiting lists for an allotment, new figures have revealed today.

Some 1,049 are waiting for a plot on an allotment site in Central Lancashire.

It comes as more and more people are turning to growing their own food, either to save money, to be healthy or to cut down their carbon footprint.

In Preston, up to 335 people are waiting for a plot. People can be on as many waiting lists as they like.

Preston Council has eight allotment sites across the city with 590 lettable plots on these sites.

Coun Robert Boswell, cabinet member for environment, said: “There are no current plans for new allotments however we are looking at a number of options to increase the amount of space available for people wishing to grow their own food.

“We have introduced a policy of splitting larger plots when they become available into smaller plots which will increase the availability of allotments.”

And in South Ribble meanwhile, there are 77 people waiting for an allotment.

The council has six allotment sites with a total of 216 plots on them.

Coun Stephen Robinson, South Ribble Council cabinet member with responsibility for finance and resources, said: “There is a growing demand for allotments, and we are looking to create some extra plots on land next to three of our sites – Moss Side, Leyland; Valley Road, Penwortham; and Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge.”

Harriet Johnston, 37, from Fulwood waited around two years for her allotment on the Serpentine One plot at the junction of Blackpool Road and Garstang Road.

She shares the allotment with her friend Catherine Mitchell.

Mum-of-three, Harriet, said: “It is nice to be able to take the kids down there. They have fun digging and we can talk to them about growing things and encourage them to eat vegetables and things like that.

“It is nice to be able to grow something from seed and you get a nice sense of accomplishment and you know what has gone into them.

“And there’s the whole carbon footprint and saving money at the same time.”

She added: “We both like gardening.

“I would have grown fruit and veg at home but didn’t have the room.”

In Chorley 390 people were on the waiting list for an allotment.

Chorley Council has 149 allotments, spread across seven sites.

And the council is working to find more sites.

Coun Bev Murray, who oversees allotment provision at Chorley Council, said: “There is a real demand for allotments in Chorley and the council has been working hard to identify and create more allotment sites across the borough.”

In Wyre, 161 people are on the waiting list for 27 plots and in Fylde there are 86 people waiting for 24 full plots and 32 half plots.