Burton ridge allotment
growing food

Welcome to my wildlife friendly Lincoln 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.

Inspired?

People across Lincoln and Lincolnshire are working to promote healthy and sustainable food to all sectors of the public, encouraging a shift from food consumerism to food citizenship.

Find out more about how what’s going on near you, how to get involved and sign up for news and updates.

More local food news from our blog:

How to eat well on a budget

Gemma, from local good food business Veg Out, has produced this great resource for eating better on a budget – free to download.

Partnership, poverty and a waste food supermarket for Lincoln

As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don’t embarrass her. Rather, pull out some stalks for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.” Ruth ch.2 v.15,16 The Lincolnshire Food Partnership is a growing partnership of organisations working together for a food system… Continue reading Partnership, poverty and a waste food supermarket for Lincoln

Old Wood Organic: good food growing in Skellingthorpe

The story of Old Wood Organic is a covid lockdown story of extraordinary transformation. A bracken-filled clearing in a small area of woodland has made way for a productive, organic garden, and is already beginning to supply restaurants and individuals in Lincoln with just-picked organic salad and veg, delivered by bicycle. I think that counts… Continue reading Old Wood Organic: good food growing in Skellingthorpe

1 thought on “Welcome to my wildlife friendly Lincoln allotment”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.