Oxford’s allotment holders have been recognised for their achievements at a prestigious award ceremony.
The Oxford Allotment Competition award ceremony took place in Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, on Tuesday 27 September.
There were 56 entrants from 11 allotment sites across Oxford. Allotment holders were able to enter themselves into four age categories.
The winners were:
- Under 35 years: Kilian Garrec and Emilie Clauzier from the Cripley Meadow Association
- 35-to-59 years: David Spriggs from Barton Fields allotments
- 60-to-69 years: Johann Guschtsca from Elder Stubbs allotments
- Over 70 years: Diana Cox from South Ward allotments
The overall winners, who won the Challenge Trophy, were Ian and Helen Matten from the Lenthall Road Allotment Association. Second was Deisa Holden from the John Garne Way Allotment Association, and third was David Allen from the South Ward Allotment Association. Eleven entrants were highly commended.
In addition, eight of the city’s 36 allotment sites entered the best kept allotment site competition, which was won by the Cripley Meadow Allotment Association. Cutteslowe association came second and the Barracks Lane third.
The Eden Drive Association won the new award for the Most Improved Site.
Six new plot holders, who had started their plots in this year, received awards for special effort. They were Megan Harcourt, Mahmood Sadigi and William Kay, all from Barracks Lane Association; Rosanne McEwan-Smith, from Cripley Meadow allotments; Edmund Herzig and Ana Novakovic, from Cutteslowe allotments; and Ran and Man Limbu, from Lenthall Road allotments.
Judges looked for plots that grow a wide range of vegetables all year round, together with seasonal soft fruit. The emphasis is strongly on the quality of the crops and the overall productivity of the plot, not on having immaculately manicured plots – although the winners’ allotments have very few weeds.
The awards, which have been going as a competition in various forms since 1919, are organised jointly by Oxford City Council and the Oxford and District Federation of Allotment Associations.
The winners were presented with their awards by Councillor Linda Smith, City Council Executive Board Member for Leisure, Parks and Sport.
Councillors Smith said: “It was a tremendous honour to present the awards at the Allotment Competition and it was wonderful to see so many allotment holders coming together in the town hall to celebrate allotment keeping at the ceremony.
“Oxford is blessed with many well-located and well-maintained allotment sites, most of which only have a short waiting list for a plot. So if you are interested in growing your own vegetables, there has never been a better time to give it a go.”