The Allotments at the University of Worcester

Students in University of Worcester’s Allotment society have an incredible impact on campus, including working with the annual Sustainability event Go Green Week. We spoke to a member of the society, Briagh Harker, to get their voice, and share the work they do every year with the university. Interview conducted and written by Rosie Bramwell.

An interview with a member of the allotment society

Each year the students in the allotment society work hard on our campus and contribute to the annual Sustainability event Go Green Week in the Hangar on St Johns campus. From growing their own produce to sharing their plant care tips, the allotment society always has room for extra help.

Who are the Allotment society?

Briagh Harker: “It is a group of students with a total so far of 21 members.

“We do all sorts of things related to gardening, e.g. weeding, planting, and harvesting. The three main goals of the society are to be environmentally friendly, to plant and grow as much as possible, and to have as much fun as possible.

“As far as I am aware the allotments have been on campus for a long time now, but with varying success. The society itself is only a year old.”

In the Allotments:

BH: “Its still in its early stages but we currently have 5 plots of varying sizes, a shed, multiple compost bins, a small selection of tools and most importantly, a pizza oven.

“So because the society is still fairly new, we haven’t grown much apart from carrots and broad beans, we have also harvested some apples for apple chutney. So far this year, we have not got anything growing so the society is focusing on clearing plots and prepping for spring 2024.”

In June 2023, the Digital Creatives team held a staff party in the allotments. The group used ingredients provided by the campus kitchen and fired up the pizza oven to cook their own fresh pizzas.

This was a fantastic opportunity for the Creatives to see the progress made in the allotments and also have a turn taking care of the environment around them.

What have they done on campus?

BH: “So the allotments have so far only grown a small amount of vegetables, but we have big big plans for this new year. We don’t want a clear pot for the whole year, its going to be productive.

“So far only carrots and broad beans have been grown in our first year, but we have also harvested the cooking apples from the tree on sight and produced some apple chutney. We are looking to make a worm farm to increase soil nutrition.”

What do they do for Go Green Weeks?

BH: “So as a society we have attended the previous years Go Green Week.”

At Go Green Week 2023, the Allotment society contributed three days to hosting a stall selling apple chutney and giving away dehydrated fruit to help promote fighting food waste.

“The society produced apple chutney from the apples grown on site and sold this on our table at the Go Green Week.

“We held our own table for three of the days during go green week, where we gave out dried fruit and sold our apple chutney, as well as educating the schools that came in on what dehydrated fruits were and the perks of eating such food.”

At Go Green Week 2024 the society helped with a plant giveaway. Staff and students adopted Spider plants, Chilli plants, Aloe Vera and Wandering Dudes. Students from their society and volunteers on the stall gave advice for plant care and gave away hundreds of plants in three days!!

Missed some of the plant care tips?

Spider Plants: simple to grow and can be left alone. They like a bit of sunshine but doesn’t need to be in direct sunlight. Regularly water but don’t let it sit in soggy soil. Spider plants are very invasive so you make new plants with the babies that sprout off from it.

Chilli Plants: takes about 100 days to start producing chillis. When it gets nice and tall pinch the top of the stem so it grows more into its leaves and becomes bushy. Water it regularly but starve it of water a bit when the chillis have grown to make them go red and spicier!

Aloe Vera: lots of water every two weeks, wait for the soil to dry out completely between. Soggy soil will help gnats grow so make sure it completely dries out before watering again. Likes the sunlight but doesn’t have to be direct. Make sure it has a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot.

Wandering Dude: Loves bright but indirect sunlight. Water regularly, wandering dudes love to be gently misted rather than water poured into the soil. Prune stems to help it grow out more. These survive better in the summer so make sure you feed it lots.

How can you join the Allotment society?

Fancy joining the allotment society? Get in touch through the Student’s Union website or directly contact Briagh to find out more!



Interested in your local community? Take a look at our post about how Students Monitor the Local Aquatic System at Duck Brook. Sustainability and good health and well-being isn’t the only priority on campus, check out how we explain The Importance of Biodiversity at the University of Worcester.

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