Community invited to dig in as £80,000 allotment unveiled

Barbara Peardon, president of the walkerburn allotments society.
Barbara Peardon, president of the walkerburn allotments society.

ALTHOUGH groundworks were delayed by the winter weather, Walkerburn’s £80,000 allotment project will be officially launched on Saturday.

The 20-plot development will be declared open by Peter Wright of the Scottish Gardens and Allotments Society at 2pm.

The venture has been led by the Walkerburn Community Development Trust (WCDT), which successfully secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and which leases the land, just off the A72 to the east of the village, from the Scottish Borders Housing Association.

Just under half of the sloping site is being used for allotments with the rest being developed, in conjunction with local groups in Walkerburn, to provide a well-designed community open space.

Community tree planting supported by the Woodland Trust and the Tree Council has already seen several hundred new trees planted. The pupils of Walkerburn Primary have also their part in this valuable work.

“An important aspect of the allotment project is a community plot which will help to meet the needs of those who want to become involved in growing but for various reasons are unable to take on their own plot,” said Derek Russell of the WCDT. 

“This community garden will build on the excellent work already done in the village by Nicola Sewell of the Scottish Borders NHS Healthy Living Network. Anyone in Walkerburn who would like to get involved is invited to come forward and join in.

“The allotments will help to show how small-scale food production can reduce the food miles of Walkerburn, can educate people about the carbon costs associated with food production, and improve the health of the community.”

Despite five objections from local people who expressed concern over loss of amenity, the allotment project received planning consent from Scottish Borders Council in August last year. Groundworks have been carried out by Border Aggregates of Kelso.

“For those living next to the site we are grateful for your patience as the work has progressed, “ said Mr Russell.

Anyone requiring more information regarding the new allotment site and how it was achieved or wishing to be considered for a plot (Walkerburn residents only) should contact Allin Hoggarth of the Walkerburn Allotment Society at Alternatively, call the WCDT on 07989 420158.