For years the Congregational Board at Alexandria Parish has grappled with how they could make better use of the large grounds at the rear of the Church. We were awarded our 1st Eco-Congregation Award in June 2012 and our local councillor commented that there was a long waiting list for allotments in the Vale of Leven area and West Dumbarton Council had no sites identified. A chance meeting with the Council Greenspace Officer, Linda Adam, the following spring kicked off a project to use the ground for allotments. We set up a working group with four members of the Kirk Session / Congregational Board and all the people on the waiting list. There was great enthusiasm from the community and Lomond Community Gardens & Allotments Association was formed in October 2013. We were delighted that West Dumbarton Council provided a project grant and contracted a local company, Greenlight, to establish 10 plots and access path. Work started during a very wet spring in February, but by July we could see all the plots flourishing.
The ‘allotmenteers’ presented the church with a basket of plenty for Harvest Thanksgiving and we used the veggies to make soup and sweet lunch for the congregation. We raised over £650 for Water Aid as our Harvest Appeal. The Allotment group have agreed that £5 of their annual fee of £25 will be a donation to Water Aid. The group have been recognised by Keep Scotland Beautiful as a developing site, and are bidding for funding to add more plots, a poly-tunnel, community orchard and a bee-hive. Several of the home-owners who overlook the site at the back of the church have joined the association and a local nursery is interested in having some raised beds for the children to grow their own food.
Eco-Convenor, Alexandria Parish Church, Balloch
Before – January 2014
After – July 2014
Basket of Plenty for Harvest Thanksgiving