SDF Money For Allotments And Gig Rowing

Porthcressa Allotments

Porthcressa Allotments

The Allotments Association and St Mary’s Gig Club have both received money in the recent awards from the AONB’s Sustainable Development Fund.

St Mary’s Allotment Association has received £2,880 for a new pedestrian access to their site at Porthcressa.

Jane Hurd from the association told us there’s been significant erosion of the coastal area below the allotments, which is threatening the existing path.

It affects both allotment holders and the general public, who use the path to access Peninnis Head.

The new path will be built further from the shore.

It’s been matched by £960 from the association’s own coffers and the Duchy, who will also be maintaining the path when it’s complete.

Jane had hoped to put in a path wide enough for vehicles to use, as some of the elderly members are finding the access difficult, especially when carrying heavy items.

But she said early discussions with planners suggested that wouldn’t be possible, and wouldn’t satisfy the conditions of the SDF fund.

St Mary’s Gig Club has received £4,755 to purchase a new rowing skiff, which will provide 11 to 16 year olds to participate more frequently in gig rowing.

Numbers that currently attend the weekly sessions fluctuate, depending on school holidays, and as six rowers are needed to complete a full crew in the traditional gigs, it means they can’t always get out on the water.

The new skiffs will enable smaller groups to participate and encourage the sport among Scilly’s young people.

The SDF will provide £1,500 towards the annual seagrass survey in the waters around the islands, due to take place this summer. It should show any affect of climate change on the important marine habitat.

Other projects funded include the ongoing Seabird Recovery work on Bryher and Gugh (£6,591), a contribution towards new equipment for the Produce Market (£1,200) and money to help fund the recent Natural History Museum collections of flora and fauna samples on Scilly (£3,381).

Over two-thirds of this year’s £30,000 pot, which is provided by Defra, has already been allocated, although AONB Officer Rebecca Steggles says there’s still money available to fund projects this year and anyone wanting further information should contact her on 424315 or rsteggles@scilly.gov.uk.