Funding to tackle flooding at Sunderland allotment site

Work has begun on creating a wildlife area on the allotments behind Lidl on Durham Road.
Work has begun on creating a wildlife area on the allotments behind Lidl on Durham Road.
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A COMMUNITY project has landed £32,000 to help stop flooding at an allotment site.

Plot holders hope a new wildlife area and community garden will put an end to problems at Red Machine Allotments, in Thorney Close, Sunderland.

The site has been prone to floods for years and has affected plot holders’ produce.

Groundwork North East and Red Machine Allotment Association have secured the funding, with almost half coming from Sunderland City Council for the Wild Patch project.

The cost of maintenance is thought to be low, as the project will rely mainly on volunteers from the community.

Allotment association chairman Ian Galbraith said: “Red Machine Allotments is keen to get started on the transformation of these derelict plots. The site has been blighted with flooding for a number of years and this disrupts plot holders’ growing cycles.

“We hope to use the cultivation skills of the members to benefit residents who have an interest in getting involved in the project.”

Joanne Norman, senior project officer at Groundwork added: “We are delighted to finally be able to begin this project. The benefits to the local community will be huge and the project will solve the flooding issue on site.”

Locals will be provided with free education sessions to learn how to care for the wildlife habitat and garden. Groundwork and the Allotment Association are now looking for volunteers, schools and community groups to take part in Wild Patch, which it is hoped will be finished by mid-March.

An open day will be announced at a further date.