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Top of the Plots - allotment society to exhibit at national show

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An allotment society from St Albans District has been invited to exhibit at one of the most prestigious garden shows in the country.

Sandridge Road Allotment Association is one of only 13 such groups from England that will take part in this summer’s Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.

The show, one of the biggest in the world, is run by the Royal Horticultural Society and the association is in the running for the Best Community Allotment title.

A number of local businesses are providing them with sponsorship including Aylett Nurseries, Sekoya Gardens and financial services firm KDW. 

However, the association hopes to attract more funding to boost its chances of winning the competition.

Their ambitious exhibit will be wildlife friendly to highlight the importance of the natural environment. It will be on a six by three metres plot with a shelter and three vegetable and flower beds.

The team behind the effort includes not only plot holders and supporting businesses, but schools and charities.

Pupils at Bernards Heath Junior School are making a scarecrow, Abbey Primary School is providing a green roof, Wilderhood Watch are growing sunflowers and Camphill Village Trust are making hurdles.

The Sandridge Road allotments are managed by St Albans City and District Council and Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm, said:

The Sandridge Road Allotment Association has done extremely well to gain a place at the Hampton Court Palace festival.

This is going to be a great showcase for our plot holders with their work being seen by thousands of gardening enthusiasts.

What is particularly impressive is that this is a huge community effort with the association involving not just its members, but children from nearby schools and charities, too.

A number of local businesses have also agreed to provide sponsorship and I would urge others to take up the opportunity of helping this magnificent venture.

Tricia Gibbons, of the Sandridge Road Allotment Association, said:

After such a difficult year we are all very excited to be taking our design which we have called ‘A Sanctuary from COVID’, to the Hampton Court show this summer.

As we work on getting show-ready, it is clear what a huge team effort this has become and we are so grateful for the help and support of our plot holders, local businesses, schools and community groups.

Any business or individual interested in providing sponsorship should contact

The festival takes place from Tuesday 6 to  Sunday 11 July at Hampton Court Palace, East Moseley, Surrey.

Pictures by Keyworth Marriott:the Sandridge Road allotments, top; some of the allotment association’s Hampton Court team.

Councillor contact: Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm,, 07761 232064.

Media contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City District Council: 01727-819533,