Warmsworth allotment is pride of community

Warmsworth allotments successfully registered as a Community Asset.  Ron Winn who has had an allotment on the site for 26 years is pleased with the news.  Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Warmsworth allotments successfully registered as a Community Asset. Ron Winn who has had an allotment on the site for 26 years is pleased with the news. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
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A small oasis of green wedged behind Sheffield Road in the village of Warmsworth has been used as allotments by residents since 1952.

So cherished is it by today’s 80 plus allotment holders and the wider community that the local parish council had no hesitation in applying for it to be registered as a community asset.

Eric Pickles

Eric Pickles

In fact it has become the first successful registration of a community asset in Doncaster.

The grand title now means allotment holders can now sleep a little sounder as it gives the Warmsworth Parish Council a six-month window of opportunity to bid for the site if the freeholders put it on the market.

Founder member of the Warmsworth Allotment Holders Association, 76-year-old Walter Hartshorn said: “I’ve had allotments for over 40 years. When I came to Warmsworth 12 years or so ago, the allotment site was almost totally derelict and full of overgrown weeds and rubbish. The association originally had five committee members, with the three active ones, whose ages added up to 204, clearing some of the plots – and four years later we had it back in some kind or order.

“We had raised and spent about £70,000 on improvements and after that, the plots were just snapped up and for several years now, we’ve had a waiting list. “

Walter, who goes down to his plot two or three times daily, is a keen champion of the benefits of the allotment site to the community and wants to see the site safely in the hands of the parish council and allotments association.

“This is our green gymnasium. We keep fit, make good friends, help each other, have a good laugh, and produce wonderful fresh vegetables and fruit to keep us healthy. We have a beautiful community here.

“There is a fear that we could get evicted at some stage and that would be a tragedy.”

Warmsworth Parish Council’s Dennis Aitchison added: “We have offered to purchase the site from Keylands but they have not yet put it up for sale. We are hopeful that if it does come on the market, we can manage to buy it and its future as allotments will be secure.”