On St. George's Day, Saturday 23rd April, 2011 we started a Green revolution
in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Tameside, in the tradition of English radical group
The diggers who during the period of the English Commonwealth,
in 1649 reclaimed the common land of St. George's Hill from the Lords of the
Manor by digging and cultivating it.

After years of delay by Tameside Council prospective allotment holders in Ashton
have now organised ourselves to take over control of the land on Ashton Moss that
had been allocated for the replacement allotments, supported by sympathetic
volunteers we came together in a day of action to reclaim the allotments from
Cordingleys who have neglected and mismanaged the land.

Background

In 1996 at the time of the development of the M60 Motorway, Ashton Moss
allotment sites were taken out of use and the land was given by Tameside
Council to local estate Agents, Cordingleys, to develop for business and
leisure use, the contract included providing alternative allotment sites
People on the Council's allotment waiting list who were promised plots on
the site are still waiting, although the allotment site was developed
by Cordingleys over 7 years ago, we have now been told by Council Officers
that the site is not due to be handed over in the near future.

Ashton Allotment Action activists arrived at the the site at 10.00 am on
Saturday morning with garden tools and started to clear the weeds from the
overgrown allotment plots.

The major weed infestation on the site is primarily from Soft Rush Juncus effusus,
but also includes many other weeds which are difficult to remove such as Horsetail
Equsetum Arvense.

The action day finished at 4.00 pm, by which time the we had cleared approximately
30 square metres, after digging the soil over we planted Beans and potatoes.

This was the first day of action, Ashton Allotment Action now intend to continue
cultivating and improving the allotment site, we invite others who are on the
waiting list for allotments on Ashton Moss and anyone else who supports what we
are doing to come and join us.

Ashton Allotment Action will be working on the Ashton Moss Allotment site every
Saturday morning from 10.00 am. Information about other action days in the future
will be posted on this blog site

We now call upon Tameside Council and Cordingleys to remedy the neglect and
mismanagement of the Ashton Moss allotments site.

We call on the Council, as a matter of urgency to call a meeting of the all of the
people who are on their waiting list for an allotment on Ashton Moss, in order to
facilitate the the allocation of allotment plots and the formation of an allotment
association to administrate and manage the Ashton Moss allotment site.

We call on Cordingleys to immediately hand over the allotment sites to Tameside
Council as a matter of urgency.

We also demand that Cordingleys make reparation to the future allotment holders
for their neglect and mismanagement of the allotment site by providing sufficient
resources to allow them to utilise the agricultural machinery that will be necessary
to effectively remove the Soft Rush and other weed infestation from the allotment site.