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GARDENING Westport gets allotments

Outdoor Living
Westport Allotments Association is planning to set up vegetable plots and emulate the successful harvests enjoyed by members of the Friarstown Allotments (pictured) in Tallaght, Dublin, which supports an impressive 128 vegetable plots.
Westport Allotments Association is planning to set up vegetable plots and emulate the successful harvests enjoyed by members of the Friarstown Allotments (pictured) in Tallaght, Dublin, which supports an impressive 128 vegetable plots.

Time to put your name down for an allotment


Ciara Moynihan

If you, like me, live in Westport and don’t have a garden of your own but long to grow your own veg, the solution may be just around the corner. 
In recent weeks, Westport Town Council has offered land on the Lodge Road for lease to a local allotment group,  Westport Allotments Association, which in turn will have responsibility for the day-to-day management of the site. The land is currently in an unused state, but it is hoped that leasing arrangement will be finalised in time for the ground to be turned this year and crops sown.
Allotments are pieces of land used for the cultivation of vegetables. In Ireland, municipal allotments can be traced back to the Allotments Act of 1927, though allotments certainly existed before this date. While many Irish allotments fell into disuse after the 1950s, they have been on the increase in recent years. In some areas in the east of the country, allotments are thriving, and there are waiting lists for those wishing to lease their own patch are long.
Municipal allotments are typically 100-150 square metres in size (1,000-1,500 square feet), or about the same as the footprint of a single storey contemporary house.  This is considered ample space to grow most of a year’s supply of vegetables, plus a few potatoes.
The annual fee for the Westport allotments will be set at a fee that covers the annual lease, public-liability insurance and water charges. This is expected to work out at around €100-120 per allotment per annum.
Allotment places at the Lodge Road site are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Anyone interested in having an allotment, or in helping with the running of the allotments group, is requested to come along to the public meeting (details below). It is intended that the meeting elect a new group secretary, as Andy Wilson, the current secretary, will be standing down.

A public meeting will be held to discuss the establishment of municipal allotments in Westport at 8pm on Wednesday, March 23, at the Wyatt Hotel, Westport. For further information, phone Andy at 087 6714075 or email allotments@sustainability.ie.