Community allotment space to be investigated

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Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed the support of the Recreation & Community Services Committee at Down District Council to investigate identifying possible land for community allotments in Newcastle. Clarke had tabled the discussion in order to identify possible land in the Newcastle and Dundrum area for local gardening enthusiasts to grow their own food. Speaking after the Recreation & Community Services Committee recently, Clarke stated, “Not only would this provide an opportunity for people who do not have gardens to grow their own food, but also provides educational and health benefits, especially for mental health.” “There are lots of advantages to allotment gardening. Gardening is an ideal form of exercise and many allotments provide a great habitat for wildlife. “Keeping an allotment gives people a chance to grow fresh, healthy food. There are also social, environmental and health benefits to having an allotment. It also raises the level of self-esteem in some long term unemployed and can really provide wonderful benefits. “I am sure there are many in the community who would support Down District Council in the establishment of allotments with their knowledge and expertise,” the Alliance Councillor insisted. “The South Down ‘Grow It Yourself’ group, which is part of an All Ireland organisation, would be delighted to support the idea of provision of community allotments. Already a number of their members have expressed a keen interest in supporting Down District Council to provide allotment space. “I am also aware that Groundwork N.I would fully support this initiative and would be happy to talk with Down District Council about this idea. Clarke added, “Council officers will now investigate the possibility of either securing or using existing Council or Housing Executive land for the provision of community allotments within the Newcastle & Dundrum area.”
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