Allotments in Cottingham
An allotment site behind Northgate was set up by the Haltemprice Urban District Council early in 1955 and has been managed by successive local authorities ever since. Cottingham Parish Council assumed responsibility in 1999. There were originally about 48 large plots on the site but the Parish Council decided to divide each plot into two to encourage new tenants who might find them easier to work. More recently ten plots have been divided again to help to reduce the waiting list. Over the years there has often been a waiting list of some kind, but demand has increased considerably in the last few years.
In 2005 the Parish Council encouraged tenants to form the Cottingham Northgate Allotment Association, and together Council and Association have worked to improve the site and provide facilities for tenants.
The allotments at Cottingham, like those everywhere, are now well and truly in the 21st century. The tenants are no longer predominantly elderly males. Many women have joined their menfolk, more and more young people are attracted to ‘grow-your-own’, and there are families with young children, too. There is still a do-it-yourself look about some of the plots, because there’s nobody more resourceful in that direction than an allotment holder! But plots are not allowed to lie uncultivated, overgrown with weeds: there can be no neglect with eager tenants waiting in the queue. And when the roadway needs new hardcore or gaps in the hedge require blocking, a work party is soon organized.
Of course, allotment sites always have their problems, be they pests, inclement weather, or occasional vandalism, and Cottingham is no exception. Pests we are finding ways to deal with and droughts we are learning to cope with. Floods we can do little about, and many of our plots were under water during the deluge in 2007. Steps have been taken to make the site as secure as possible against intruders. New fences were erected with the help of a large grant from Awards for All, and other grants from CSV Action Earth have enabled us to plant roses along the front fence.
The facilities provided include the supply of water to a good number of taps and troughs, and there is a car park at both ends of the site. One of the benefits introduced by our Allotment Association is a discount scheme for buying seeds from a leading supplier. Fruit and vegetables of all kinds are being grown, from the old allotment stand-bys to somewhat more exotic vegetables like asparagus and more recent favourites like squashes and sweet corn, and, of course, we grow flowers. There is always an opportunity to exchange plants or to buy trays of seedlings at reasonable prices. We do not (as yet) hold the kind of social gatherings that can be seen on some allotment sites on television; but there are always opportunities to chat, gossip, seek advice, or even grumble!
Allotments have never been so popular and the Council’s waiting list for plots on the Northgate Allotments site is ever-expanding. We have been trying to find a second site, with no luck so far. If you, or someone you know, has some land that they would be willing to talk to us about leasing/purchasing, we would be very interested in discussing this with you. The site would need to be approx. 4 acres with suitable access, but we would be happy to talk to anyone who has a suggested site.
If you would like to join the waiting list for a plot or half-plot, contact the Parish Council office at:
- 9 The Cottages, Market Green, Cottingham, HU16 5QG
- tel: 01482 847623
- e-mail: please use the form on the contact page
The Parish Council has an approved Complaints Procedure in cases of disputes between tenants of the Allotments. A copy of the Procedure can be downloaded on the page “Council News” – “Policies and Procedures”.