Working with Kirsty Ward, a Lincolnshire gardener and blogger of My Little Allotment, the Poacher Line put forward a proposal to transform a piece of unloved land on Platform 1 of Sleaford station into an allotment.
Kirsty had started her own allotment to help alleviate the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder she developed after experiencing a difficult birth of her second child.
As a partnership we are acutely aware of the benefits of gardening to both the physical and mental wellbeing of people and we were delighted to bring Kirsty on board to design and build our allotment. Kirsty has also gone on, along with her parents Russell and Adele, to adopt Sleaford station and they have many plans to improve and brighten the station.
Once the garden has been built it is the intention to invite members of local mental health charities; including the Rainbow Stars in Sleaford, to help plant and tend to the crops, which will include; soft fruit, salad items, root vegetables and herbs. The resulting produce will be donated to local food banks and charities.
The overgrown site was cleared and levelled with help from East Midlands Railway and Network Rail staff and the perimeter fence was painted.
A working party arrived in August 2020 to build the shed and raised beds ready for planting up.
Over the winter months work continued with the planting of Garlic, Onions, Broad Beans and during May we were pleased to invite local Charity Rainbow Stars into the garden to plant some Carrots, Courgettes, Runner Beans and Strawberries!
Kirsty installed a water butt to the side of the shed and we were pleased to see a Blue Tit family had moved into our bird box! We still have some bench seating to install once we have cut back the tree later in the summer, once the nesting season has finished.
The Partnership ran a competition to name the allotment and the winning name, chosen by Sleaford resident Vivien Banks, was revealed as “Poacher’s Patch” by the Mayor of Sleaford at the Grand Opening on the 3rd June.
Going forward we are delighted to have Rainbow Stars agree to become formal adopters of the allotment who will grow and cook the produce, experiencing the full Plot to Pot experience!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this wonderful project, from Lincolnshire County Council for funding the build, to East Midlands Railway and Network Rail volunteers for building it and to the many businesses who donated materials to make this allotment happen.