Cottesmore Parish Council leads project to open new allotments
A new allotment site has opened in Cottesmore.
The Richard Westbrook Baker allotment opened earlier this month as part of a project led by Cottesmore Parish Council.
During the last year, the site has been visited by various organisations to advise on location, soil, possible flooding, water supply, trees, accessible plots, and landscaping. The site now includes 26 80 square metre plots and four 40 metre square plots.
Parish councillor Joan Edwards said: “The events of 2020 have really made people think about the availability of fresh food together with the benefits of outdoor exercise and the benefits of being outside and part of a community.
“Cottesmore Parish Council is proud to provide Cottesmore residents with this valuable community facility.”
Cottesmore Parish Council donated one of the larger plots to St Nicholas Primary School so the children have their own plot for forest school. Residents also donated equipment and plants for them to use including a shed, a hedgehog house, and some birdboxes.
Just prior to opening representatives of Cottesmore Parish Council planted a small community orchard on the site including apple, plumb and pear trees.
Some allotment holders have expressed a desire to donate further trees for the orchard later this year.
Other projects on the site include the provision of a community cabin, a wild meadow flower garden, and a wildlife pond, subject to funding and planning permission.
Cottesmore appears in the history books concerning allotments. Richard Westbrook Baker (1797 – 1861) proposed to set up a system to provide means for poor labourers to support themselves and their families if paid employment was not available.
The provision of allotments, pieces of land up to three quarters of an acre in size, for which rent would be paid, was proposed in each village on the Noel’s Rutland estate to be worked with a spade only and under strict rules set out in 1830.
Labourers and their families were intended to have sufficient ground to grow their own wheat for bread, potatoes, and vegetables to provide for their families.
The first plots were established in Cottesmore to the field to the west of the Market Overton Road and consisted of 26 plots.