THE PILGRIM PLOTTERS
Kitchen Garden|September 2021
Martin Fish visits Boston in Lincolnshire, with its historic links to the Pilgrim Fathers, and finds a thriving community of growers with a concern for health and well-being at its core
Martin Fish

Gardeners know the real benefits of gardening, growing fresh produce, and getting your hands into the soil. Since the pandemic first struck in March 2020, more and more people have taken to growing their own and allotments have become even more popular as people have discovered the importance of being outside in the fresh air.

One such allotment group that has embraced the health and well-being benefits of gardening and being outdoors is the Willoughby Road Allotment Association in Boston, Lincolnshire.

But for them it’s not new because they have been banging their drum about this for many years and because of all their hard work and dedication, they have created a facility that works not just for individual allotment holders, it also takes in the wider community, including NHS workers.

THE SITE

The allotments on the site were created by the Corporation of Boston back in 1957 with 70 full-size plots. Some of the land was later used as a car park for the nearby Butterfly Hospice and the site now stands at 2.2ha. (5.8 acres) with around 60 plots of varying sizes, with a healthy waiting list. In recent years, many people have taken on a half or third of a plot and this system works very well for those that have less time or want to grow less.

Although the site is owned by Boston Borough Council, in 2014 tenants voted to break away from the council and form an association to manage the day-to-day running of the allotments. This allows the management committee of volunteers to control the budget and the plot fees and over the past seven years the site has thrived with many improvements being carried out. The committee, now chaired by Gerry Ladds, are continually looking for ways to improve the facilities and at new and exciting ways to work with the community.

The borough bouncil and its elected members are still very supportive and help whenever they can with projects.

LOTTERY GRANTS

Since the association was formed a large cabin has been erected that is used for meetings, social events and school groups; community areas have been developed along with a wildlife area and an orchard, as well as the site being made wheelchair friendly. Grants and funding from several bodies have helped with this work and the committee are still raising money and applying for lottery grants to further improve the site by building toilets and developing an area known as Nature’s Happy Space.

This project was the idea of Gerry and came about because of all the work the NHS has done and continues to do. It will be a place to sit and relax in a peaceful environment, surrounded by beautiful plants and edible hedging. Funding over five years will also pay for a coordinator to develop links with the NHS, Pilgrim Hospital, local schools and nursery care to educate on the health benefits of growing fresh food, working with nature and how gardening and being outdoors can improve mental health and well-being. Already staff from the hospital either have plots or visit the site to take a break from their stressful work and it’s hoped that the partnership can be expanded and developed in the future.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM KITCHEN GARDENView All

PEAS PLEASE ME

Growing peas is a must for Rob Smith. Here’s his introduction to growing them, with top tips and some varieties you might like to try

7 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

Boost your BUGS

Gardens that are alive with bugs – whether beetles or bees – are healthy, beautiful places to be. They’re also more productive. Benedict Vanheems shares some simple tips to give bugs a boost this autumn and beyond

8 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

FAMILY FYFE

Milly Fyfe lives on a farm in Northamptonshire with her two sons, Angus and Dougie, and husband Andrew. As well as tending to 100 suckler beef cows, 300 breeding ewes, 350ha of land for arable production plus chickens and pigs, the family also maintain a walled garden where they grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.

5 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

JUST ASK PIPPA!

After training as a botanist and gaining her MSc in Crop Protection, Pippa Greenwood spent 11 years in charge of the RHS Wisley plant pathology department. She is the author of countless best-selling books and is a long-standing voice on BBC 4 Gardeners’ Question Time. Here she talks with Daniel Heighes

6 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

Turn Up The Heat For Melons

Nothing shouts summer like a home-grown melon, yet they can be a challenge to grow in the UK climate. All the more reason to have a go, says KG editor, Steve Ott

6 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

Go Go Go october

It might not be the height of the growing season but Stephanie Hafferty is still very busy with garlic, green manures, mulching and making a new compost heap using pallets

6 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

POWER OF THE Pumpkin

Pumpkins are soon ready to harvest and with October 26 being National Pumpkin Day, Annabelle Padwick decided to focus on this autumnal beauty

6 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

Flavourful Fruit For Creative Cooks

Much of fruit growing centres around the premise of eating the fruit fresh from the tree, but this month KG’s fruit expert David Patch turns his attention to fantastic flavours for the kitchen

5 mins read
Kitchen Garden
October 2021

OUR PLOTTEER OF THE MONTH

Last year we officially launched a competition to find 12 readers and their plots that would feature in Kitchen Garden magazine this year. Here we feature another of our talented winners

4 mins read
Kitchen Garden
September 2021

THE PILGRIM PLOTTERS

Martin Fish visits Boston in Lincolnshire, with its historic links to the Pilgrim Fathers, and finds a thriving community of growers with a concern for health and well-being at its core

6 mins read
Kitchen Garden
September 2021
RELATED STORIES

JLR's Covid help

JLR joins the fray ...

2 mins read
Jaguar Magazine
Issue 202

VARSITY SPIRIT

A major new player has entered into the marching arts activity. See how Varsity Spirit, known for cheerleading apparel, competitions, and camps, has already made an impact to elevate the student experience.

7 mins read
Halftime Magazine
January/February 2020

BRASS TAX

Boris Johnson’s £12bn tax hike to pay for social care has outflanked Labour and confounded his own Conservative party. But with public spending at its highest level in peacetime, will it solve a dilemma that has defeated his predecessors – and even if it does, will the Tories ever forgive him?

10+ mins read
The Guardian Weekly
September 17, 2021

Trapped In A House Full Of Hormones

Lorraine Candy started to experience signs of menopause just as her teenage daughters were experiencing changes of their own

5 mins read
WOMAN - UK
September 21, 2021

WE MUST LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY

OUR COLUMNIST TALKS ABOUT HER INVOLVEMENT IN BLACK TO FRONT DAY AND FEELING THE STRAIN OF BEING A SINGLE PARENT

2 mins read
OK! UK
September 20, 2021

England schoolchildren aged 12-15 yrs to be offered Covid vax 1st dose

LONDON: School children aged between 12 and 15 years will be offered a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine starting next week, the UK government has announced after the country's Chief Medical Officers gave their go-ahead for the jabs for younger age groups.

1 min read
Millennium Post Delhi
September 15, 2021

PM TO EASE VIRUS LAWS

Vaccines will be main defence this winter as Boris vows to ‘get rid of’ intrusive Covid powers. PM TO AXE COVID AWS AFTER VACCINES VICTORY BUT MPS L DEMAND MORE ACTION

4 mins read
Sunday Express
September 12, 2021

I drank 10 BOTTLES of wine a week

An old friend finally made Claire Owen realise the true cost of her boozy habits

5 mins read
WOMAN - UK
September 14, 2021

‘Every night I prayed I'd wake up as a girl'

Growing up transgender, Charlie Craggs, 28, became suicidal. Here she shares her journey to becoming the woman she always knew she was

5 mins read
New UK
August 30, 2021

NHS reform is ‘wrong Bill at the wrong time'

OPPOSITION is growing to controversial proposals to reform the NHS.

2 mins read
Daily Express
August 16, 2021