Prison land to be thrown open to allotment holders
Land near a Sheppey prison is to be opened up to the public so
the community can grow sustainable food.
The Ministry of Justice is drawing back its boundaries in
Eastchurch, making acres of space available for the benefit of
people on the Island.
A plot measuring 100m by 30m is to be offered as free-to-use
allotments from March 1.
A total of 18 polytunnels will also be built with each one
covering 13m by 10m as well as three large greenhouses.
There will also be an area to sell fresh fruit and vegetables
and a couple of storage sheds.
It is hoped 100 horticulturists will take advantage within the
first year with a view to a further 400 over three years in similar
projects across the Island.
Sheppey Matters will use part of a £946,275 grant from The Big
Lottery Fund set aside for the Sustainable Sheppey Project last
Charity manager Nigel Martin said: “People will have seen or
heard that food prices are going to be shooting up because of the
rubbish summer we had.
This is a way of keeping the costs down because you do it
Community gardener Nicola Waghorne will advise on the best ways
to cultivate the land.
One idea is for community chef Mike Spackman to show people how
to cook food freshly dug from the ground in his mobile kitchen.
Prisoners near the end of their sentences from HMP Standford
Hill and the Kent Council on Addiction will make use of the land
for rehabilitation purposes.
Sheppey Matters has started approaching groups of all ages to
see if they might be interested in taking part and is trying to
secure a minibus to transport people there once or twice a
Seven or eight further projects are also in the pipeline for the
area including turning locally produced vegetable oil into diesel
- Anyone interested in applying for an allotment or to donate
unwanted gardening equipment should call Sheppey Matters on 01795
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