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Field adjacent to The Kennels and Bowling Green - allotments anyone?
The Cromarty Archive
Field adjacent to The Kennels and Bowling Green - allotments anyone?

This was another area of land which the Cromarty Allotments and Gardens Society thought might be suitable for local community and allotment gardening. Sadly, though it's currently lying fallow, the owner wasn't happy to rent it to CAGS for this purpose due to concerns about the visual impact this might have.
Picture added on 28 July 2009 at 11:32
Comments:
Contrary to what some may think, properly maintained allotments are not at all unsightly. Here in Edinburgh, for example, there are a number of areas of allotments which are adjacent to park land and quite genteel residential localities. The allotments add an earthy charm to the scene and actually blend in quite harmoniously.
Speaking of "visual impact", one hopes that that gardener's or farmer's nightmare of weeds in the foreground isn't about to become a permanent feature of the east end of Cromarty.
Added by Christopher Hart on 03 August 2009
Visual impact? Sounds a load of old cobblers to me and a bit snooty! I hope to be corrected if I'm wrong! The Black Isle is, after all, an agricultural area, and just think o a the grand vegetables that could be grown. My late Uncle Davie would have loved to have had an allotment on this site and there would have been nothing unsightly about it. So pull your socks up, and let the land be used!
Added by Margaret Tong on 03 August 2009
That's a big field. How many people actually want plots?
Added by Duncan on 04 August 2009
29 people have expressed a strong interest so far. Typically an allotment is 250 sq Metres (300 sq yards) per person, though schemes often split them into smaller areas for the less ambitious. Most allotments seems to concentrate on annual veggies like lettuce, kale, cabbage, carrots, tatties, etc, but in Cromarty there is also a lot of interest currently in growing fruit trees such as apples, plums, hazelnuts, etc, so more space would be useful.
Added by Colin on 04 August 2009
Allotments would be such an improvement to this. I agree with Christopher.
Added by Dorothy Ewen (Robertson) on 07 August 2009
Looks to me these fields are simply been used for "Set aside", ie left fallow for a period as part of the Farms single farm payment from the EU through what I will always think of as DAFS, but is the now the Scottish Governments Rural Affairs Department.

I would expect them to be back as Barley or Tattie fields in a couple of years.
Added by Calum Davidson on 09 August 2009
I don't think they are set-aside, Calum. My understanding is that the lease has expired and the local farmer hasn't yet renewed.
Added by Colin on 09 August 2009
Although I think the idea of allotments is wonderful [I had one in East London when I was a student] this site looks unpromising from the point of view of access to water. Is there funding available to lay pipes for a stand pipe? The local burns are too low in summer to rely on as well as such endeavours being labour intensive.
My other reservation is the isolation of this kind of spot where local vandals of the parish could run riot undetected as they have in the past in people's actual gardens such as Rosenberg, if I remember rightly.
It is odd, and I know this as a would-be horse keeper, that although we live 'in the country', access to small, leasable but secure areas of land is just about unobtainable in Cromarty.
Added by Ann Hill on 10 August 2009
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