Anna Clayton column

Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.
Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.

On the outskirts of the Ridge Estate, set on the edge of the Lune Valley, you’ll find the Ambleside Road Allotment.

This peaceful plot of land consists of 35 main-plots and six starter-plots with a border of fruit trees and veg which range from gooseberries to plum and apple trees and the odd artichoke here and there.

There’s a free communal tool shed with every tool needed to help you with your allotment.

An added bonus are the two communal polytunnels approximately 60ft by 20 ft.

One is fitted with benches for all your pots and plants and the other has raised beds for whatever you want to grow.

Most allotment holders are allocated a space in both tunnels on a first come first serve basis.

Peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, even melons, are all happy growing in the polytunnels.

Water is provided by rainfall gathered from the top of the polytunnels through a system of gutters into large tanks underground, then hand pumped as and when needed.

It is not foolproof and we’ve had problems.

In the dry spell one tank was emptied through over watering. We also have a compost toilet on site which works really well.

This is our fourth year on the site originally set up by LESS.

We are now a community site run by a committee.

All plots are now taken and we have a waiting list for the first time.

This year we have a lady who is a very good flower gardener and she volunteered to maintain a plot to let her hair down, so to speak, and now we have a truly wonderful wildlife-friendly flower garden.

As with all allotments, we have a problem with slugs.

Night time forages for these critters is a must but we will not be beaten and people have there own ideas on how to cope: beer traps, pellets, nematode’s...

We get mushroom compost delivered twice a year, free for all allotment members to use.

If put down late in the year the compost works really well for the next years crops.

Then we come to the unsung heroes, ‘The Committee’.

Those that do all the running around be it paperwork, collecting funds, running the site. Hats off to them all.

We have a great committee and a really good set of people on site.

If you want to come and have a look, you are always welcome to visit our site.