Bid to save 100-year-old Derbyshire allotments backed by hundreds

A bid to save allotments which have been providing healthy produce for a Derbyshire village for 100 years has been backed by hundreds of people.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 11:19 am

Plot holders at Starkholmes Allotments, near Matlock, were given notice to quit the land as tenants earlier this year, in the centenary of the treasured community facility.

A search was launched to find a new home if they are forced to leave the beautiful two-acre site, with views of the Derbyshire Dales, and see the land sold for development.

Villagers also started a petition to save the site, and this has now been signed by almost 2,500 people.

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Mike and Judith Naden in the under-threat 100 year old allotments at Starkholmes, Matlock.

Mike Naden, secretary and treasurer of the allotments, said talks were continuing with council leaders to find a solution.

He told us the allotments had a ‘rich history’ but were more relavent than ever.

"They are still flourishing. We have 27 allotment plot holders at Starkholmes and 35 plots, as some people look after two plots.

Talks continue to try to save the allotments at Starkholmes, Matlock.

"It is not just the plot holders but their whole families who can enjoy the allotments. Grandchildren come along and grow their own vegetables. It is a real family thing.”

It is believed the site was first established for returning service personnel after the First World War.

"In the past it was considered a man’s hobby but now we have 13 ladies and 14 men as plot holders,” Mike added.

This year was supposed to be one of celebration for the allotments – plot holders held a 100th birthday party in July – but the future has been put in doubt.

At the start of July, the land owner revealed he was terminating their tenancy through his agent.

The petition, signed by 2,479 people, describes allotments as ‘a really effective, low carbon way of growing food’

“We recognise the need for more affordable housing across the District, however, getting planning permission on our site does not guarantee affordable housing will be built,” it adds.

“This petition is directed to Derbyshire Dales District Council and Matlock Town Council, to start the Compulsory Purchase Order process for this site, to allow growing to continue here. Starkholmes Allotments Association will raise the necessary funds to buy the land at an appropriate cost.”

To sign the petition, visit the page on change.org