A Garden Scarecrow
The Lanhydrock Allotment and Community Garden Association has been the brainchild of Mike and Ruth Seaman; they had a vision of beautiful and productive allotments on the National Trust property known as Lanhydrock. This has been a long and hard uphill struggle but eventually on 26th April 2010 they were opened.   This was with the grateful support and advice of Matt Lewis, Head Ranger and Rebecca Brookes-Sullivan Properties Mangeress for the National Trust, Lanhydrock .   We feel this is not just a site for allotments but a community resource too. With this in mind we currently have 88 growing plots with a range of community gardens, including a wildlife garden with pond and a formal garden. We also, with young families in mind, have created a play area for children complete with Wendy house with seating and benches. At the far end there is a community orchard we can all share the fruit when ripe. There is an area by the vehicle gate that we can use for social events e.g. barbeques etc.   

You will notice that the first plot has two raised beds and these belong to a lady who is a wheelchair user but wants to continue gardening. We do our best to accommodate tenants with disabilities as near to the entrance gate as possible as the furthest plots are 155m away. Our site is just under 3 acres.

The 'greeting' slice of wood at the entrance is very popular with our children as many fairies live just under in the natural cave thanks to a curve in the wood. Our boat named Hilda is planted every season with colourful flowers and is a much admired feature. 

Being within a wooded area we have had erected a deer and rabbit proof fence surrounding the ¾ mile perimeter. There are two communal sheds 20’ x 10’ and 16’ x 10’ with combination locks in-situ, we have arranged for individual lockers to be available. Off the two sheds we have installed 1800 L water tanks for the ‘run off’, whilst we do have two taps for water supply we aim to only be using water from these tanks in the future.

Wheelbarrow with tools
The area between the BBQ area and the bottom gate will remain uncultivated and be used as a ‘housekeeping’ area for delivery of manure etc. The main access path is 10’ wide for tractor/vehicle access and all other paths are 4’ wide and will remain natural grass.

The site faces south west and the trees shield us from the cold north and east winds in the winter.The soil is good with no major pests, disease or viruses being well drained and not'sour'. We are occasionally visited by moles, voles, pheasants, buzzards and rabbits but if the gates are shut religiously on entry/exit rabbits can be excluded (well almost!).Robins always keep us company when we are digging.

Most plots are full size (50’ x 23’ to include a 2’ side path) but we have a number of ¾ and ½ sized plots available for those with limited time or ability. The present cost includes insurance, NSALG membership and water and is £38 per annum for full size and pro rata for other sizes.

On the site there are allotment holders of varying experience and ability; encouraging an atmosphere of learning and enjoyment. We are happy to give advice to new gardeners in a friendly manner. We have, in the main shed placed helpful information and are compiling a mini library – any contributions to our stock of books/magazines most welcome. The committee members are usually available and happy to help at any time.We have an active social calendar and organize trips out to other gardens/allotments and welcome many groups to visit us - usually ending up with cider (juice for those driving or under age)and pasties in the 'shed'. 
Mike Seaman,
4 Aug 2015, 07:10