Asbestos alert for allotments bosses

Digging trouble:  Mary Dunn at the allotment where she is concerned about asbestos.                                Picture: Alan Janaszek
Digging trouble: Mary Dunn at the allotment where she is concerned about asbestos. Picture: Alan Janaszek

A WORRIED grandmother has put bosses of a Doncaster allotment site on asbestos alert.

Mary Dunn, contacted the authorities after she found what she fears to be the potentially lethal substance on the land she cultivates next to Staveley Street, Edlington.

The 61-year-old from Trent Close, Edlington, believes the asbestos was exposed after she turned over the soil before planting her vegetables.

Mrs Dunn only took over the allotment shortly before last Christmas.

She said she decided to turn over the soil in an area of the plot which had previously been used for keeping chickens.

She said: “There had been chickens there for three years and they hadn’t been moved for a while.

“I didn’t know what was there at first. There were bits of metal and plant pots. But then my friend and I picked up a few pieces of something we thought might be asbestos. I wasn’t sure and we looked it up on the internet.

“I eventually got hold of someone at Edlington Town Council, but it seems to have taken a long time to get anything sorted. I first became worried on Monday and nothing has happened yet.

“I’m worried because children dig on those allotments, especially now as it is the summer holidays. I’m worried in case their health is put at risk. I think something needs to be done quickly.”

Edlington Town Council representatives were due to look at the site today and assess the substance.

A spokesman said the matter was under investigation and would be discussed at the next council meeting.

He said: “With any potentially hazardous material, we take it seriously. A number of years ago the town council paid to have a lot of asbestos sheets removed from all the allotments in Edlington, and they removed a lorry load.

“Asbestos was used for a great many years for things like shed roofs. It is possible that there has been asbestos there over the 80 years the allotments have been there.”

He said because it was a town council, it did not have its own in-house team for removing substances such as asbestos.

But in the past it had paid experts from Doncaster Council.

The town council runs four allotment sites in Edlington.