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Stay fit and work together as a community



It’s probably true to say that there’s nothing quite like tending an allotment for staying fit, saving money and improving your physical and mental health. Vicky Crampton, secretary of Wooldale Allotment Association in Holmfirth, knows this only too well.


Studies show that just one session of allotment gardening can result in significant improvements in both self-esteem and mood via reductions in tension, depression and anger. “People do get so much from their allotments,” says Carole Grogan, an allotment holder and volunteer at Fair Trader Holmfirth.


The Wooldale allotments have been going for ten years. They are situated behind Wooldale Co-op, on land which was originally put up for the Co-op’s use when it was an independent, but since then has been taken over by Central England Co-op. “They are very supportive of our events and aims,” explains Carole.


“I suppose our main aim is to garden co-operatively. We have about 30 plots on site, as well as a community garden where we hold events such as autumn celebrations and summer garden parties. It’s equipped with raised beds and people with a bit less time or gardening abilities use them. Obviously, all this has ground to a halt over the last year. We had planned a special event for our ten-year anniversary but, much to our disappointment, that was scrapped because of the pandemic”.


Pat Whalley, the allotment events coordinator, came up with the idea of a scarecrow event so that passers-by could have something to look out for. Last year scarecrows were erected with the theme of VE Day, along with posters showing what allotment holders do and what benefits gardening brings. Gardening treats were left out for people to take as they wished. The scarecrows are coming again this May, mainly so the local community and visitors to Holmfirth can enjoy coming by and seeing them. “We really like having a chat as we garden,” says Vicky.


I hope this gives you a snapshot of the activities of Wooldale Allotments. It's a lovely site and if you want to visit, pop into Fair Trader in the centre of Holmfirth and someone will give you directions and a map. It’s a 2.5-mile round trip from Fair Trader. A bit of a “walk on the wild side’ ...


More details can be found on the Holmfirth Events website – and visit Wooldale Allotments’ Facebook page.


Fair Trader, 3 May 2021

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