Connect Residents at Newall Close, Otley have come together over the last few years to set up and manage a beautiful allotment on their property.
The allotment, run by residents at Newall Close in Otley, is host to all sorts of luscious fruit and veg and has been a great source of staying social throughout the pandemic. Not only has it encouraged residents to work together as a community, it has helped them spend time outside and become more self sufficient by using their home grown food.
Created back in 2016, the allotments have had a great take up from residents and have been a popular feature of Newall Close. They are run by a supportive group that makes sure they are kept well and are a great example of collaborative work between neighbours.
The allotments were also helpful during the pandemic, as Carol Dowdeswell says:
During lockdown I believe it helped us a great deal. It was somewhere we could come and grow fruit and vegetables but perhaps, more importantly, we could come and just sit and reflect and have a little peace and quiet in the open air just listening to the birds and wildlife.
Sara Mumford, another resident of Newall Close also detailed how important the allotment has been for her and why she loves having an outdoor space to go and escape to:
I started getting a bit more involved with the allotment during lockdown, as I was furloughed from my job at the time. I now work long hours for the NHS and find my time down at the allotment incredibly relaxing, Its a lovely peaceful space. This year has been a good year for growing, despite some problems with tree roots and overhanging trees. I really do think there is nothing better than eating your own home grown produce.
There have been a few setbacks, including some pesky large trees that have brought some unwelcome shade and caused difficulties from some growers. However, Connect are continuing to work with the residents to resolve these problems and hope to get them sorted soon.