On 25 March we were served notice out-of-the-blue to quit our beloved allotment garden. We have been given no explanation, no right of appeal, and no offer of compensation, and the land agent, Strutt & Parker LLP, refuses to discuss the matter. There is currently no legislation to prevent this completely unreasonable action.
Over the past six years we have restored our historic plot in central Stamford from a bomb site back to the lovely garden it once was, rejuvenating the many heritage apple trees, recreating the Victorian vegetable patch, planting herbaceous borders, and replacing the derelict sheds. We have invested thousands of pounds and countless hours in this labour of love, which is also enjoyed by the many walkers who use the adjacent footpath.
· We have never defaulted on the rent.
· We have never breached our tenancy agreement.
· We have never been the subject of a complaint.
No other tenants have been served notice and it seems we are being singled out for two 'crimes':
· Publicly supporting elderly and vulnerable gardening neighbours who were forced off their plots by draconian rent increases.
· Asking the land agent to limit bonfires on the gardens, especially during the current pandemic, to enable gardeners and walkers with respiratory health problems to enjoy the area safely. This request is in line with South Kesteven District Council's guidance.
We demand that Strutt and Parker LLP, the land agents who act for the owners, The Cecil Estate Family Trust (CEFT), withdraw the eviction notice. We are unable to establish whether the CEFT trustees are even aware of the situation, as their names are not in the public domain.
You can learn more about our garden at www.waterfurlonggardens.com and follow the progress of our campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and through our blog The Plot Thickens.
Thank you so much for your support.
Karen Meadows and Julia Baker
Plot 15, Waterfurlong Allotment Gardens, Stamford, Lincolnshire.