Ten years ago I used to pass this big iron gate with loads of brambles behind it. Did so for years without knowing it was an allotment.

My neighbour told me about it, because I was growing lots of stuff in my garden. The plot was just going to be handed back to the council as building land.

I took it on and reclaimed it.

It is its own little world. A triangle, three plots together, all by themself. On one side of it there is a small wood with old scots pines, the garden from an old manor house long ago demolished. In the spring it is full of snowdrops, as the year wears on it is full of nettles, which provide dense cover for the locaL wild life.

I know that I have a fox. Sometimes I see it, we have even exchanged glances. It has a discreet den under the pines, with an entrance burrowed under one of my pathways.

I wouldn’t say that I am a particularly successful gardener. Sometimes, when I get it right I can feed us for some months of the year from the produce. The fruit bushes and trees that I have planted all crop well and most of this goes into the produce for my jam business.

Vegetables are always a struggle. It takes lots of time, and there have been times when I have done all the growing stuff right, planting, weeding mulching, even watering. It grows and then maybe needs cropping just when I am too busy to do anything.

I am not a great gardener, but I love this place.

At the moment it is under threat. The council would like it back to build extra care housing, ( which is a good thing to build!) and because it was not especially tidy they thought I would give it up easily.

I don’t intend to do this!

Have had some help from a friend, more are latching on, and today a neighbourhood meeting has been called to get people together and see if they want to protect the space.

If nothing else this meeting will get neighbours from about 10 different houses into a room together, something which I simply don’t remember happening before. I reckon that is a good thing.