Many will have noticed the huge improvement in the appearance of the allotments between the Derwent and the A6 just south of Hopping Mill Meadow but might be intrigued to hear the story behind this transformation. The story of the transformation is best described by the plot owner herself, Helen Franny:
“The national lockdown which began in April 2020, triggered an increased urge inside me to do something challenging as I obviously can’t stay still for any length of time, this would drive me insane!
After a good long think, I focussed my ideas on a piece of my land which is about an acre in size, is sheltered by trees and rests beside the river Derwent. This area had sadly become massively overgrown and started to resemble an African jungle due to being neglected for almost 15 years. You can imagine how unkempt it had got, when I actually had to climb over the wall at the bottom part and work my way back up to the top where the gate is situated.
With the help of my brother, who was in charge of disposing of the weeds and brambles that were piling up at an alarming rate, we slowly over the course of almost 1 year, began to clear the overgrowth and transform it back into fertile land.
People started enquiring as to what I was considering doing with the area of land, which I had not really thought about at the time, however after numerous suggestions I have decided to rent it out for locals to use for growing flowers and vegetables as it was found that there was a demand plots like these, and the council have a rather long waiting list for garden allotments. To date, after hours of hard, back breaking work, I now have a handful of tenants, and the allotments are beginning to look super. I am extremely proud of myself and my brother for achieving this challenge.
Here are some photos showing what it looked like before we started, and after.”
Mart’s Meadow now