Newbury Town Council crowns its 2021 Best Kept Allotment winners
Newbury’s best kept allotments have been praised in an award ceremony in Victoria Park.
A total of 21 prizes were presented by mayor Billy Drummond in this year’s Newbury Town Council Best Kept Allotment awards.
The awards included ‘Best Newcomer’, ‘Best Plot’, ‘Best Schools Plot’, ‘Best Site Overall’ and this year a special award, sponsored by Yew Tree Garden Centre in association with Newbury in Bloom, was given to one tenant whose allotment plot stood out as the very best across all six town council sites - a total of 550 plots.
The judges commended the efforts made by tenants, which included some ‘bug hotels’, ‘bee tubes’ and ponds so that amphibious creatures could thrive in the area. Judges said they were amazed at the ingenious ways that the allotment tenants utilised the space they have.
A trophy was presented to Chris Lawrence and Shannon Carr, the allotment Stewards at the Southby’s site, after they were judged to be the best site overall.
An award was also given to Falkland Primary School who tend an allotment plot at Wash Common.
Sheila Smith, from the Parsons allotment site, won the title of ‘Best Plot Over all Sites’ and she was presented with a £100 voucher from the Yew Tree Garden Centre by its director, Claire Hall.
Ms Hall said: “I was very impressed with the quality of the individual plots, the community feeling evident on the sites and the sheer number of allotments being tended across Newbury.
“It was a hard choice to pick a winner, but the allotment selected was very impressive - a busy site with a diverse range of plants including flowers, fruit and vegetables."
She joined members of the council’s green spaces working group, Martha Vickers, Marion Fenn and Paul Barker, head gardner at Highclere Castle, to decide the winners.
Martin Colston, leader of the council, said: “Throughout another very difficult year, our allotment tenants have been able to tend their plots throughout and they are a valuable form of exercise both physically and mentally. There is so much variation, and all of our allotment tenants are to be commended on their efforts year-round.
"There are around 550 plots in Newbury, ranging from large to small, with a variety of tenants, from people who have had a plot for years to newcomers and new families to the site who are so enthusiastic.
“We do have a waiting list for our plots as they have become so popular during 2020 and 2021 due to more people being at home. If you would like have a go at ‘growing your own’ please contact us for more information.”
The full list of winners is:
BEST PLOT AT DAIRY FARM ALLOTMENTS
Under 5 Poles - Plot 32B – Sophie Waters
5 Poles and Over - Plot 7A/B – Mr Merrell
BEST PLOT AT ONE TREE PARK ALLOTMENTS
Under 5 Poles - Plot 22C Penny & Kevin Winter
5 Poles and Over - Plot 15 Judith & Chris Culley
BEST PLOT AT PARSONS ALLOTMENTS
Under 5 - Plot 6- Rachel & Steve Bowey
5 Poles and Over - Plot 10b – Sheila Smith
BEST PLOT AT SOUTHBY’S ALLOTMENTS
Under 5 Poles - Plot 3A - Amanda Owen
5 Poles and Over - Plots 98A/29A - Brendan and Linda Coyle
BEST PLOT AT WASH COMMON ALLOTMENTS
Under 5 Poles - Plot 24b Joanne Agar
5 Poles and Over - Plot 33 Ruth Reid
BEST PLOT AT WEST MILLS ALLOTMENTS
Under 5 Poles - Plot 76a Will & Ellen Hunter Smart
5 Poles and Over - Plot 15 Mr JF Randall
Dairy Farm Allotments: Plot 1 -Mrs Weronika Bryda & Mr. Jamie Peters
One Tree Park Allotments: 19C Gemma Smart
Parsons Allotments: Plot 10a – Malcolm Ward
Southby’s Allotments: Plot 29B -Trevor and Cate Poore
Wash Common Allotments: 34d Carolyn Hammond
West Mills Allotments: 71b Sophie Blake
BEST SCHOOLS PLOT
Falkland Primary School, Wash Common
BEST SITE OVERALL
Southby’s Allotment Site
BEST ALLOTMENT PLOT OVERALL
Plot 10b – Sheila Smith