Community creates new outdoors Sheffield haven

Kiran Malhi allotment story. Committee members  Kiran Malhi, Josh Bearn and Olly Connolly of  'Two Troughs' who are regenerating derelict land  off Tinker lane,  Crookes with help from  student volunteers.
Kiran Malhi allotment story. Committee members Kiran Malhi, Josh Bearn and Olly Connolly of 'Two Troughs' who are regenerating derelict land off Tinker lane, Crookes with help from student volunteers.
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Green-fingered volunteers have been reaching for their spades to transform derelict land into community allotments.

Two Troughs Community Allotment Association inherited 28 rundown plots, near the Bole Hills in Crookes, in March last year, and work most weekends to regenerate the land which was out of use for more than 40 years.

Four core members - Kiran Malhi, Olly Connolly, Josh Bearn and Steph Abiva - have been joined by more than 100 volunteers.

The group hopes to provide space for locals to grow fruit and veg without having to commit to owning allotments, but also says the site can provide a haven for isolated people to enjoy the outdoors.

Kiran, aged 24, of Leppings Lane, Hillsborough, said: “We’d like to do sessions with vulnerable groups and people who suffer from isolation, because being here and outdoors is so good for the soul.

“At the moment we’re thinking asylum seekers and people with mental health problems, but there are all sorts of groups who would like to use allotments for social benefits.”

Volunteers from The University of Sheffield helped to shift scrap, litter and weeds and erect polytunnels, sheds and raised flowerbeds.

And despite a poor growing season the site has already yielded a harvest of potatoes, onions, carrots, swedes and herbs.

Treasurer Olly Connolly, 34, said transforming the land after four decades of disuse had been daunting.

“The thought and the sight of it was quite overwhelming to begin with, but we slowly started to clear plots,” said Olly, of Broomspring Lane, Broomhall.

“We’ve had groups come on board, families from Crookes who want a child-friendly allotment, St Thomas’ Church who come up with vulnerable people, and a youth group from Parson Cross. It has been amazing.”

n Email two.troughs.kiran@gmail.com