Reprieve for Rasen allotments?
However, after the Rasen Mail stepped in to clarify matters with the landowner, there is renewed hope their plots may be saved.
For decades, residents have worked the site in the Churchill Avenue / Coronation Road area of town, but signs put up without warning by landlords, Acis Group Ltd, on July 21 say all produce and items have to be removed by August 31.
No reason for the action was stated on the notices, leaving allotment holders frustrated and saddened.
However Acis has now explained to the Rasen Mail that it had no details of the allotment users to contact them and instead served a standard notice hoping allotment growers would contact them, as they need to access the site with machinery to clear an overgrown area that had become infested with vermin, particularly near the fence-line.
A spokesman added: “We are aware that people are using the area and growing produce and we have no desire to interrupt this.”
One resident, who did not wish to be named, has worked his allotment for around 20 years.
He said: “Although it is hard work, it is just so peaceful and quiet on the allotments – and the produce you get is unbelievable.
“My wife died in February and I come down here now most days. I don’t have space to grow things at home, so this would be a big loss.”
The resident said he had tried to get in touch with Acis, but had been unsuccessful.
He added: “If I have to move everything off here by August 31, I will need a lorry to do it.
“A lot of the produce won’t be ready by then either, so that will all be lost.
“If we understood why they wanted us off, that would be a bit easier to deal, but what we need now is an extension on the order, so we can get our crops ready.
“We need the opportunity to talk to Acis and see what is going on.”
While a number of the allotment holders have been working their plots for many years, resident Donovan Caton is in his second season of growing.
He said: “For me it has helped take the edge off the cost of living.
"Last season, we made sauces to last us eight months from the crop of tomatoes.
"My life is also pretty full on, so coming down here I can just forget about things.
"That is the sad part for me; people need this sort of thing for their wellbeing.
"It is a real community, with people sharing their produce.
"I have invested a lot of time to get the plot set and also sourcing water containers to help, not just for me, but everyone on the site."
Mr Caton continued: “When I first saw the signs, I just thought ‘oh well’ but as the days have gone on I have got more depressed about it.
"I won’t have the time to get everything off – and a lot of the crops will be lost as they just won’t be ready.
"Now I am just thinking do I spend time continuing to care for the plot or just give up now?”
The allotment holders do not have any formal agreements with the landowners, the area is just managed by the those with plots, with others taking over when spaces become available.
The Rasen Mail contacted Acis Group Ltd and it seems that all may not be lost.
A spokesman for Acis said: “The allotments at Churchill Avenue and Coronation Road have recently been transferred to Acis Group.
"The allotments currently have infestation of vermin and Environmental Health has contacted us as the area is overgrown.
“Six allotments in the area are currently being used.
“Sadly, we currently have no details of the people to contact them with the update on these allotments. We have served a standard notice as we need to access the site with machinery to clear off the overgrown area, particularly near the fence-line.
"We are aware that people are using the area and growing produce and we have no desire to interrupt this.
"We have served the notice so that those using the allotments can contact us.
"We are working hard to make the space safe and usable for those who use it.”