Welcome to my wildlife friendly Lincoln allotment

Burton ridge allotment

How Jo transformed her Burton Ridge allotment into a beautiful and productive garden – in two months.

When Jo was allocated an allotment on Burton Ridge two months ago, it looked like this:

Burton Ridge allotment Before photo
Jo’s allotment when she first took it on two months ago
The view from the top of Jo's allotment
The view from the top of Jo’s allotment
wildflower bed

Her hope was to create a wildlife friendly space to support her organic food growing.

She had previously had an allotment in which she had done the conventional allotment approach to straight beds and growing in rows, and she decided this one would be a bit different.

As she cleared the site, with the help of three friends who were sharing the plot, she retained many of the wildflowers, creating a designated wildflower bed for them.

It was sad to displace all the the ladybirds and insects and wildflowers when we cleared the site. I want to build that back over time.

pond

The first thing they built was a pond.

A pond is such a staple for a wildlife garden, as a habitat for frogs (nature’s own slug control!), a water supply for birds and mammals, as well as being a thing of beauty.

The second task was to build a shed and install an IBC for water storage. Initially they filled the IBC with water from the allotment tap, but in due course it will collect rainwater from the shed roof.

It didn’t take long to get to know their neighbours. “You learn a lot from the older allotment holders,” Jo points out.

Before long, Jo agreed with the people on the adjacent plot to share the shed with them. In return, the neighbours gifted them a couple of raised bed frames.

And this seems to be the general spirit of the site. “We get eggs from one of the other allotment holders,” Jo tells me, “and take him old cabbages and things for his hens.”

You learn a lot from the older allotment holders.”

“Everything has been given to us,” Jo tells me, “the only thing we have had to buy so far has been the hose attachment!”

The first couple of weeks we were here all day every day, Jo explained. Possibly one of the best ways to spend lockdown – but it was hard work. It was completely overgrown.

In addition to clearing the weeds, digging a pond and building a shed, they have created a network of paths, built terraces into the slope, dug vegetable beds, and created a compost bay made of reclaimed pallets.

Allotment 2 compost
parsley

water allotment

“I made a plan for the garden before starting work,” Jo explains, “but you learn about the land as you work on it, and things find their own place.”

An example of this was the little seating area in a shady nook. As they worked in the sun, it quickly became evident how essential that was!

“My plan didn’t happen, but I’m so happy that it didn’t!”

I asked Jo for one piece of advice:

It’s so important to attract pollinators to the allotment, keeping native wildflowers and non-invasive species is particularly important for veg growing and so easy to do! Just grab a packet of wildflower seeds from your local shop and let nature do the rest. 

Jo Cliff, Burton Ridge Allotments

If you’d like an allotment in Lincoln, you can apply via the the council website. Most sites have a short waiting list, and some have vacant plots available immediately.

More local food news from our blog:

Willoughby Road Allotment Association: The Power of Allotments for Community, Kindness and Learning

Allotments are often sites of surprising diversity, community, wellbeing and intergenerational connection. But the people of Willoughby Road Allotment Association have taken this to a whole new level, and show the incredible capacity for allotment spaces to bring diverse communities together, and to propagate kindness! I spoke with Paul Collingwood and Gerry Ladds, who areContinue reading “Willoughby Road Allotment Association: The Power of Allotments for Community, Kindness and Learning”

Low Fulney Family Allotments

Family Services Goes Outdoors! “We were working with a group of Young People who were permanently excluded from school, and there was this one girl who told us about her trips with her Grandad to his allotment. They were good memories. So we said to ourselves, could we have an allotment, where more young youngContinue reading “Low Fulney Family Allotments”

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