Plot owners at the Burydell Lane allotments have lamented the destruction of their allotment by flooding. After the intense heatwave that lasted for weeks in the UK, the rains finally came. But while it was a respite for most, the heavy rainfall from the past few days have been devastating for plot owners who had their gardens destroyed by a flood.
The allotment chair Kim Scrivener who has contacted the St Albans Council, Affinity Water, and Environmental Health Agency says she hopes they can get the problem fixed soon. However, most of the year’s early harvest has been destroyed already by flood waters from the River Ver.
Much of the plants, flowers, and vegetables at the lot have been submerged underwater due to the flood which Damien Rodwell-Davies, one of the gardeners described as catastrophic. Rodwell-Davies who has held a plot in the allotment for more than three years said this is is the worst he has seen so far.
Like Rodwell-Davies, many of the gardeners were heartbroken and devastated as many of their plots and greenhouses have been destroyed by the flood, and hours of hard work on their plots have been ruined right in the peak of the harvest season.
On the factors that contributed to the flood, Rodwell-Davies says it is likely that the build up of vegetation that would have been grazed on by cattle on the river further narrowed an already narrow channel. The channel is not clogged and this is causing the water to burst its banks and flood the allotment directly downhill.
Most of the submerged plants will die due to the excess water. Those that survive will most likely be unsafe to eat since they are likely to be contaminated.
Rodwell-Davies says he feels disappointed since he rented the lot to grow food for his family and now all has been lost due to the flood. What makes it even worse is that it is happening this year that the Covid-19 pandemic has made it unsafe for vulnerable family members to visit shops to get the produce they need.
Kim Scrivener shares the same thought on the significance of the lot particularly during this pandemic. “During COVID-19, the allotment has become an important source of refuge, as well as a much-needed outlet for physical exercise and emotional wellbeing… To see an allotment destroyed at the peak of the season is heartbreaking especially in this particularly difficult year.” she said.
The St Albans District Council has been notified about the unfortunate event and the allotment association are already in discussions with them to find an urgent solution
Councillor Anthony Rowlands, the portfolio Holder for leisure, said talks are ongoing and the council is offering all the help they can at this time. The council and the environmental agency are working to identify the reasons for the flood and brainstorm to prevent a recurrence of such an unfortunate event.