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Shepherd Neame is helping a pub in Ashford to cultivate even closer ties with the community by opening up its land to allotment holders.
The idea means that the disused field behind the Plough Inn’s children’s play area could soon be filled with keen gardeners.
Licensee Sally Duncan, who runs the Brabourne Lees pub with her daughter Bonnie, said: “As locals, we are delighted. We cook fresh produce in our kitchen and while we will have our own allotment, we are also hoping that the locals with sell us some of their vegetables. We aim to put up the name of the allotment holder and their produce on our blackboards when we use their ingredients.”
This marks the second time Shepherd Neame has made land available for such a useful community purpose following the launch of an identical scheme at the Harrow in Knockholt earlier this year.
Sue Wood, parish council clerk, said: “We were approached by a couple of residents who said they would like to have some allotments in the village. We approached Shepherd Neame and were delighted that they immediately came back to say they were happy to do it. We now have a five-year lease, with the option of another five years and a further 10 after that.”
She added: “We have had one public meeting attended by about 40 people and already 22 people have signed up for an allotment.”
It is hoped that work will start on preparing the land soon.
Sue said: “There is talk of setting up an allotment society and those who have had allotments are offering their skills to those who haven’t. It is a fabulous community project.”