Mid and East Antrim Borough council is celebrating National Allotment Week 2016, which runs from Monday 8th – Sunday 14th August, with a series of green events that aim to bring the community together and showcase the benefits that caring for an allotment can bring.
National Allotment Week is a National Allotment Society (NSALG) initiative which Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has whole-heartedly supported for a number of years. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has three allotment sites at Carrickfergus (Beltoy Road), Greenisland (Knockleigh Drive) and Larne (Town Park).
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Council, Cllr Audrey Wales, explains “Allotment gardening can provide a number of benefits to individuals, such as the opportunity to produce a wide range of relatively inexpensive healthy vegetables, whilst at the same time providing physical exercise in the outdoors. It can create the opportunity to make new friends and provide the chance to socialise with others who enjoy a similar rewarding pastime.”
“Allotments can provide a great sense of well-being and give pleasure and satisfaction to people who through their own skills and effort produce their own food and of course in addition allotments are also beneficial to the environment and wildlife generally. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is committed to improving the quality of life for all the people of Borough through the services it provides including our allotment service.”
“Our ‘Love Veg!” event on Friday 12th August is part of our ‘Wild About Food’ project which has been running since May 2016 in collaboration with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. The ‘Wild About Food’ project is our contribution to Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016 which is a celebration of everything delicious about Northern Ireland. We will be celebrating the fantastic local produce available to us in the Mid and East Antrim area and specifically all things veggie during National Allotments Week.”
“Other activities this week include grow your own workshops and bird ringing demonstrations and we hope that by opening up our allotment sites and inviting the local community to see what happens behind the gates, more people will begin to see the benefits allotments bring.”
Di Appleyard, PR Officer for the National Allotment Society, said “We would like to encourage everyone who values allotments and appreciates the benefits they bring to the health and well-being of a community to engage with their local council and make sure that allotments are considered in Local Plans and other relevant policies. ‘Growing Together’ is this year’s theme for National Allotments Week, designed to emphasise the benefits that allotments bring to everyone regardless of age and to highlight the fact that we all need to value our remaining plots and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.”
- LOVE VEG! – Fri 12 Aug 11am-2pm Eden Allotment Gardens, Carrickfergus. Meet some friendly farm animals, help us build a giant bug hotel and enjoy a veggie BBQ
- GROW YOUR OWN WORKSHOP – Saturday 13th August, 2pm – 4pm, Greenisland Allotment Gardens. Grow your own – how do they do it? Learn from the experts
- BIRD RINGING WORKSHOP – Sunday 14th August, 10am-1pm, Eden Allotment Gardens Carrickfergus. Get close to our feathered friends during a hands-on bird ringing demonstration. Bird ringing is the attachment of a small numbered tag to a wild bird to enable individual identification and is vital for bird conservation