A few weeks ago while visiting the Briar Road Allotments in Twickenham, I came across an inspiring community project aimed at the older and less able members who had large plots and were finding it difficult to manage them. Most had been coming to the site for years and it was an important aspect of their social and mental well-being.
The Committee decided that an easy-to-maintain area with raised beds, suitable paths and plenty of seating would be the answer. They came up with a plan and approached Richmond Council, who not only gave permission for them to clear a vacant plot but also a small grant to help with buying materials.
This is an on-going project and every weekend volunteers work hard to prepare the site for construction. They still need more financial help so have set up a fund raising page:
Once finished, it is hoped the senior members will use and enjoy this new space and that their unmanaged plots will be released to those on the waiting list.
The allotments have an interesting history. The land was once owned by the famous Twining family who bequeathed it for public enjoyment about 120 years ago. In those days the site was much bigger, then stretching as far as Briar Road, hence the name. It was also a Victorian rubbish dump, and artefacts like clay pipes and pots dug up by plot holders can be seen in the Twickenham Museum.
The Briar Road Allotment Holders Association (BRAHA) has a committee that manages the day-to-day running of the site, as well as organising annual events. Volunteers raised funds for a community hut some years ago, which is used for social events and meetings, as well as shelter and a refreshment area for plot holders.
The allotments share the site with the Twickenham Gardening Association, who are open at weekends to sell competitively priced seeds, compost, fertilizers and other essentials.
For more details please visit: e-voice.org.uk/braha/
Twickenham Wildlife Photographer