National Trust promotes 'Grow your own'

The grow-your-own revolution is reaching the gardens and grounds of historic halls and parks, as the National Trust vows to create 1,000 new allotments on its land.

The grow-your-own revolution is reaching the gardens and grounds of historic halls and parks, as the National Trust vows to create 1,000 new allotments on its land.

In Norfolk it will see school and community groups getting involved with a scheme to turn a disused walled garden into a kitchen garden at Blickling Hall.

The flagship estate, and nearby Felbrigg, already provide 43 of the trust's existing 59 allotments in the region.

But officials say they are looking at the potential for using other properties, such as Sheringham Park and Peckover House for garden plots and tuition sessions.


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For gathering and passing on time-honoured allotment gardening skills were also an important part of the process, said Trust spokesman Nick Champion.

Some of the tips that used to be passed on from green-fingered grandparents had been lost in recent generations more used to getting their fruit and vegetables from the supermarket than the soil. So the Trust was also looking to recruit volunteers to help with the projects.

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The hunt for allotment plots and gardeners is being done through the Landshare website being set up by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as a match-making database of keen growers and people with land available.

The Trust initiative comes as 100,000 are on waiting lists for allotments across the UK, and will provide enough land to grow 2.6m lettuces, 50,000 sacks of potatoes or produce worth up to �1.5m a year.

Its director general Fiona Reynolds said: 'There's something in the air. More and more people want to grow their own fruit and vegetables. This isn't just about saving money - it's really satisfying to sow seeds and harvest the fruit and veg of your labour. By creating new growing spaces the National Trust wants to help people to start growing for the first time.'

They were also keen to pass on gardening expertise to the new wave of novice gardeners.

To express interest in the scheme visit www.landshare.net

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