Allotment keys handed over

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ANGUS Healthy Happy Communities Project in Arbroath accepted keys to their allotment from Joe Gibb of the Arbroath Allotment Association on Thursday.

The year-long health project focuses on working with local people to develop their knowledge of health and nutrition, particularly for young families and women of child-bearing age.

An important part will be working with community members and partner agencies to develop two community allotments at the Brechin Road site in the town. The allotments will be developed over the coming year with the help of local volunteer gardening enthusiasts.

A large part of the gardening plot will be dedicated to growing a variety of vegetables which local families can use for creating healthy dishes.

Joe Gibb, vice-president of the Allotment Association, said he hoped the new group would get a lot of pleasure and help in growing their vegetables/soft fruit, and later, harvesting and cooking with them. No plots are, at present, available for let, but an additional area of land, ploughed, top-dressed and fenced by Angus Council at the rear of the Saltire Centre, will become available early in 2011.

Mr Gibb added his thanks to Angus Council for being far-sighted in allowing the Allotment Association this extra ground because of the recent upsurge in interest nationwide to ‘grow-your-own’.

Angus Community Health Project general manager, Susan Wilson, said: “The positive impact of a community allotment on peoples’ health is not always immediately apparent but in fact the benefits are wide ranging. Aside from the obvious benefits of access to fresh food and exercise, working with others on an allotment can have tremendous positive affects on mental health and wellbeing.”

The project is still looking for volunteers and it doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner as there will be lots of different gardening tasks to be carried out. If you have an interest in gardening and would like to volunteer to help this Arbroath health project, contact Shona Burge on 01307 474872.

Anyone wishing further information or interested in taking on an allotment should contact the Association president Rob Pearce, nodwisely@googlemail.com, or Frank Gilbert, secretary, 01241 875101.