Gardening in the Observer

Everyone else is currently too busy, so it has fallen to me to congratulate the Observer on its coverage of all things horticultural. Gardening in all its varieties is one of the most popular pastimes in the country, not only Rye and its surrounding area. It deserves all the space it can get.

In recent weeks, there have been announcements or reports from Iden, Ninfield, Sedlescombe, Udimore, Westfield, and Winchelsea. There will be others. We can expect Flower and Vegetable shows from now until the autumn, and look forward to reading about them.

It did not take much for Pippa Al-Khafaji to persuade the Rye Allotments Association to voice strong approval for two local initiatives – a community orchard, and a bee-keeping project. These are completely independent of the Association, but will be supported by individual members. They are open to anyone, especially young people.

We certainly congratulate “In the garden” with Michael Kerr. He actually writes about gardening matters, which the Rye Allotments Association column, now six years old, has never done.

That’s because the column is primarily to do with the campaign to save them from further unlawful building encroachment. Readers may have imagined that because the column has not appeared for some months, everything on that front has gone quiet. Far from it! Every time we use the Freedom of Information Act to get at documents certain people would rather remain buried, a new horror story comes to light.

Over the next few weeks, readers can expect fireworks; exactly when it will all end we don’t know. What we do know is that Rye’s legal case over its ownership of the two remaining statutory sites was always watertight. What we are now uncovering leaves Rother’s counter-claim in shreds. To use a colloquial phrase “For how much longer can they go on defying gravity?”

Yours, Royston Godwin, Government and Local Government Affairs Officer, Rye Allotments Association.