Southbourne pub owners start allotment scheme

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The new owners of a pub in Southbourne are hoping to give something back to the community with an allotment landshare scheme.

Phillip Waters and Neill Scott have taken out a lease on the field behind their pub, The Sussex Brewery, with a view to making part of it available for allotment use.

The 14-acre field, which is split into two parts, is currently unused apart from the occasional events organised by the pub.

Mr Waters and Mr Scott took over the pub in Main Road in February and realised they could make better use of the land.

They have been inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who made the community landshare scheme famous on his TV programme River Cottage.

Mr Waters said participants would not be charged for using the land and in return they would only ask for a small share of what they grow which can then be used in chef Mr Scott’s kitchen.

They have contacted their immediate neighbours offering them the chance to be involved, and – depending on availability of space – they are willing to take on others and entertain possible alternative ideas for use of the field.

Mr Waters said it would cut down on their ‘food miles’ and would give them seasonal options in the kitchen, as well as a place for those who may not have enough garden space to grow their own vegetables.

“The neighbours would have first pickings, we want to give them the first option,” he said.

“We are not going to charge them rent; it’s all free in return for a share of the produce.

“We think it is a really nice way to use the field.

“If all these people don’t want it at the end of their garden, then it won’t happen.

“We have been here since February, and we have been thinking about using the field for other things.

“The second field is the biggest and the most suitable for the events we do.”

The field has been used in the past as a venue for the pub’s Glastonbrewery music festival.

There are no plans to stop the festival – it will simply be kept to the second part of the land.

For more information and if you have any ideas for alternative uses of the field, call Phillip Waters on 07974 034654.