During National Allotments Week, we’d like to highlight this valuable community asset.
The Woodley Allotments site on Reading Road is now one of the largest allotment sites in Berkshire with over 370 allotments and nearly 320 individual allotment holders. Tenants are members of an inclusive community focused on growing vegetables, fruit and flowers in an organic and environmentally friendly way.
Health and wellbeing
While primarily providing a space to grow crops, allotments also provide many physical and mental health benefits such as a quiet place for reflection and relaxation, an area to observe nature and as an escape from the pressures of the outside world. However, it also helps people to develop new friendships, to share their love of gardening with others and improve their physical wellbeing through walking, digging, planting, weeding, watering and harvesting.
Allotments on the site cater for all ages and abilities and, in response to an increasing interest in ‘grow your own’, smaller starter plots and mini plots have been added to the portfolio of full size and half size plots, providing the opportunity for more local residents’ to access an outdoor growing space.
The Woodley Allotments Tenants Association Committee support several charities on site, including: Launchpad, Sport in Mind and Hope & Vision. These charities are all allotment holders and use their plots to in a variety of ways to support vulnerable people from within the local community. Furthermore, all crops grown on the Launchpad plots together with donations from tenants are delivered weekly to Reading Food Bank to help provide fresh produce to those who need it most. Sport in Mind charity provides a similar service supporting the Woodley Food Bank through weekly donations.
The Allotment Association has also developed close links with local schools; Addington School is an allotment holder and recently children from Highwood Primary School visited for an educational tour. The Association hopes, through education, to encourage more young people to develop a closer relationship with the land and growing plants.
Find out more
For more information about available plots, please visit: https://www.woodley.gov.uk/parks-facilities/allotments or call 0118 9690356.