It took nearly three years from when the initial enquiries for allotments were received until a site was offered.
In November 2010 David Liddiard offered a one acre area which is too small for modern agricultural machinery as a potential site. The enthusiasm of the potential plot holders was demonstrated by the speed with which negotiations were completed – on Good Friday 2011 the first plots were being planted. Our thanks are due to David and Richard Liddiard together with the Parish Council, for their help in achieving this. The Parish Council holds the tenancy of the site and lets the individual plots. The plot holders formed Great Shefford Allotment Society to run the site, which is now under the chairmanship of Paul Farrant, with Nina Williams as secretary, Barbara Brooker Treasurer, aided by a committee comprising Helen Brown, Brian Griffiths and Linda Bowden.
As the area had not been cultivated for a number of years it was decided to spray off all the vegetation and bring in a rotavator incorporating a stone burier to give plot holders a good start – this meant that as soon as the site was available, planting could commence.
On the first site visit an area comprising a standard allotment was marked out and it quickly became apparent that no-one wanted to commit to such a large area, it was therefore decided to create our own version of an allotment size and this was set at 250 sq m – some people only wanted half this size, this meant that the initial people who had expressed an interest could all be accommodated.
The land around Great Shefford is very stony, this was the first obstacle to be overcome as people prepared their plots, many now have stone paths as divisions to reduce the stone content which is not conducive to root vegetables, which can grow distorted in their efforts to find a way down through the stones!
We were fortunate to get a water supply connected early on in our occupation – again thanks to the support of our Landlord. As no rain fell for the first six weeks on site, many cans of water were carried from the trough to the individual plots. This meant growing got off to a good start.
Whilst all the plots are let at present, a waiting list is operated and if you would like to be considered for a plot in the future, send your details to the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org stating whether you would prefer a whole or a half plot and you will be contacted when one is available.