The brilliant Hitchin Youth Allotment celebrates launch!

Judi Billing and Alan Millard officially open Hitchin Youth Allotment

Judi Billing and Alan Millard officially open Hitchin Youth Allotment - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin allotment aimed at youngsters has celebrated its official opening at the weekend.

Hitchin Youth Allotment marked its launch on Saturday with councillors, sponsors and supporters in Old Hale Way.

The project helps children grow their own fruit and vegetables and get involved in a really hands on way.

Project leader Paul Dee said: “The idea is to make the experience fun, build confidence and pass on the basic skills and techniques – and of course to let them enjoy the process of harvesting and eating their delicious produce.

“Work is already well underway on this year’ s crop with the beds full of a whole range of plants including squash, sweetcorn, beans, onions, potatoes, courgette, cucumbers and tomatoes.

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“All planted and tended by the children themselves.”

The children come from The Priory School on Bedford Road, Hitchin’s 11th and 9th girl guides, 11th brownies and 11th rainbows and are aged from five through to 15.

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Paul added: “Seeing all these youngsters get involved so enthusiastically, has been wonderful.

“They are starting to see the fruits of their work with the first pickings of strawberries and salad, but I think they are most excited about the pumpkins.

“Grow your own and having an allotment are really popular and healthy hobbies and I hope at least some of the children will keep their interest up long term.

“We couldn’t have done it without the wonderful teachers and youth leaders and the extraordinary generosity of our supporters.”

There is even a sunflower competition for the biggest specimen and budding giant pumpkins headed for Pirton Pumpkin Show.

Various councillors from North Herts District Council were in attendance including well-respected Labour local politician Judi Billing who tweeted: “Gorgeous sunshine – a brilliant co-operative project.”

The project is generously supported by Hitchin Youth Trust – whose generous support transformed the seed of an idea into a viable project, North Herts District Council, Giles Groom of Vanstone Park Garden Centre, Hitchin Garden Centre and Brookers, as well as a whole range of other local businesses and individuals.

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