WORRYING: Damage done at Gainford allotments last month
WORRYING: Damage done at Gainford allotments last month

A VILLAGE allotment faces an uncertain future as members threaten to give up their leases following a string of vandalism and thefts.

A teenager’s shed was torched in the latest incident at Gainford Allotments and previously crops have been stolen and shed doors removed.

Now the allotment association is hoping to beef up security by installing two gates and repairing a wall because of fears that some members may abandon their gardens.

Association treasurer Sarah Hannan told Gainford Parish Council during its February meeting that at least three people have said they might not renew the leases on their allotments.

The treasurer, who is also a member of the parish council, said: “There have been a lot of break-ins. I keep getting emails every week and the police have been down several times. The allotments are just not secure. We have had several people say they do not want to renew their leases because of the problems. It is going to affect the viability of the allotments.”

Cllr Hannan said a number of dog walkers allow their animals to foul in the area which is an additional health concern because food is grown there.

She added: “We want to put gates in at the top end and the bottom, and the wall needs repair. We don’t have enough money to do that so we are coming to you, as our landlord.”

Cllr Hannan said the association was unable to apply for funding for the work because the land was being leased on a rolling basis.

She added: “As soon as we can get ownership of the land, or a 25-year lease as a minimum, we could attract all sorts of funding.”

Parish clerk Martin Clark pointed out that the council does not own the land but leases it from a property developer.

He urged the association to get quotes on the work that needs doing so that the issue could be looked into in further detail.