Allotments in Trumpington have a long and varied history. Many parts of the village which were once marked as allotments on old maps are now houses, and only the ones created with the Council estate in the 1940s and 50s are still being cultivated. The Trumpington Allotment Society is a fine example of a successful modern allotment site and a leader among other local self-governing societies.
The 21st century saw a resurgence of interest from people who wanted to grow food for themselves, and when new homes were being planned on a large scale for Cambridge, the creation of new allotments was made part of the new public open spaces. Although the work of the Lib Dem City Council at the time, the allotments created by the 2006 Local Plan were enthusiastically supported by residents of all political parties and none, who recognised the benefits to the health of individuals, families and neighbourhoods when people could get involved in growing plants.
There are three new allotment sites in Trumpington, one in each of the areas of new development. In Trumpington Meadows to the west of the village the new County Park is now managed by the local Wildlife Trust and the allotment site was handed over to the City Council in 2018. In Glebe Farm, to the south of the village, the house building is complete and the allotments have been busy since 2019.
On Clay Farm, to the east of Trumpington, the site was marked out on Hobson's Park in the early stages of the development, but legal difficulties have delayed the handover of the public open spaces. There were many ‘false dawns’ and great frustration for local residents, many of whom have been on the waiting list since 2015.
Now, the end is in sight, the plots have been marked out, and a group of prospective plotholders has been formed. We have insisted that there is no reason why we cannot make a start on the site, particularly on the communal areas and the raised beds.
The Clay Farm Prospective Plotholders Group is being established in the rather gloomy and foggy days of early 2021, but is planning optimistically for better days ahead, when the site will not only be a place for individuals and families to enjoy solitude, exercise, the peace of natural surroundings, and growing food for themselves, but also a place where they can meet their neighbours and perhaps make friends through shared activities.
The site is a large one, with room for wildlife as well as cultivation. A bird feeding station near the gate could soon be a feature, and members of the group are hoping to improve the biodiversity of the new hedgerows and the health of the soil after years of intensive farming.
There are plans to help local youngsters develop skills and take part in activities as part of the Scouting or Duke of Edinburgh awards making compost bins, bird feeders, work tables etc.
If you want to join the Group, please email Philippa.