HUG Allotment at Grey Court School
The allotments at Grey Court school, provide space for students with special educational needs to come together and grow their own fruit and vegetables. This project goes from strength to strength. It has been a productive year.
The PTA along with volunteers from HUG carried out weeding parties. This allows the SEN students to concentrate on the fun side, planting and sampling whilst the Grey Court chickens gently cluck in the background.
The allotment plays an important part in London and Britain in Bloom judging. It has been the starting venue and Jacob, one of the students, has shown the judges around and spoke about how important it is for him.
The allotments history
In 2008, HUG had a small community allotment at Ham House which proved very productive and was a great success. Following that success, and the fantastic advice given by the Ham House gardeners, HUG decided to initiate a larger project under the leadership of Allotment Project Manager, Mary Pitteway.
Grey Court School very kindly gave HUG and the community a piece of disused land behind the Alms Houses and this is now the site of HUG's new, larger allotment. Some of the ‘planning team’ can be seen on the left.
Money was raised through grants from Thames Community Foundation Grassroots Grant and Capital Growth. With the help of local volunteers and Latchmere Open Prison, the ground was cleared and levelled.
We are really grateful to volunteers from BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) who, under the guidance of Simon Hawkins, worked so hard creating the raised beds and getting the allotment ready for planting. Please go to the Allotment Folder in our Photo Album to see evidence of the amazing progress they made.
The allotment was officially opened by local MP Zac Goldsmith on July 17th. In fact, planting had already begun, starting with two gooseberry bushes and four apple maiden whips, which will be trained as cordons. We also have blueberry bushes which have been planted in pots because they need especially acid soil. Plants and seeds have been donated by generous local residents and a small group of volunteers began planting the beds on July 11th. Some beds have also been planted by Grey Court students. We are already harvesting the first of the produce – courgettes, beans, radishes and salad leaves – and tomatoes and cucumbers are setting fruit!
We need volunteers to help with planting, weeding, watering, harvesting (and eating the produce!) and look forward to working together with the community on this exciting project which will mean achieving the first stage of producing our own locally grown food. If you would like to take part, please check the News page of this website for scheduled ‘work days’ or the HUG noticeboard inside Ham Library entrance. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See below our video in which Mary talks about the development of the Allotment project: