St Teresa’s Allotment Group (STAG) was set up in 2011 on farmland owned by St Teresa’s Church. This beautifully situated site has 36 plots.
The idea for the allotment site came from St Teresa’s Church, which was keen to promote food growing and its health benefits within the parish of Upholland. The church approached West Lancs CVS who were running a Community Food Growing project and worked closely with them and local residents to set up a Steering Group to plan the site and get it up and running.
Following a public meeting September 2010, the STAG steering group worked with the Community Food Growing Project through the winter to establish their group and plan development of the site.
STAG was officially formed, and the first committee elected, at a General Meeting in February 2011. All of the 36 plots (each just over one-third of a standard allotment plot) were allocated and plotholders started digging and planting at the end of March.
St Teresa’s Church has continued its support by providing car parking and pedestrian access to the site from the church car park.
Things have gone well at STAG. As well as the 36 plots, the group has constructed a new path access from the church car park to the site and now has a communal shed for tool storage. The site now has a well-established hedge, planted by members, to shield the site from the wind and minimise the visual impact for residents on College Road. It also has fencing around the site to prevent unauthorised access.
The site does not have mains water, but various water collection options are in use by plotholders to collect rainwater for use in dry spells.
Enthusiasm for the project remains high, and many plotholders have found unexpected benefits:
‘It’s not just a matter of food growing, it’s the community spirit that evolves, looking out for your neighbour. That’s what it’s all about’.