Ella Dunlop (Clinical Medicine) launches Allotment Club for college community

A new Allotment Club at Green Templeton College is hoping to bring people together as lockdown restrictions begin to ease while also promoting sustainability.

The project has been organised and developed by Ella Dunlop (Clinical Medicine), who has received support from the Annual Fund to help cultivate an allotment plot in Old Marston to grow vegetables, encourage wildlife and pollinators, and provide exercise and socially-distanced communal activity.

Clinical medicine student Ella Dunlop stands outside the Green Templeton greenhouse in the sunshine

Ella outside the Green Templeton College greenhouse. She wants her Allotment Club to promote sustainability.

Ella said: “Gardening and growing have thrived through the pandemic with the need for outdoor space and a change of pace from work-from-home office hours.

“This activity will benefit all college members as it will provide a more cohesive community, bringing the corners of the community that have felt isolated during lockdown back together. Holding an allotment together also promotes the identity of GTC as an inclusive and sustainability-focused college.”

Ella sourced the allotment back in October before applying for Annual Fund support. Through the generosity of donors, the Annual Fund provides grants for academic-related activities and support for college life.  Ella hopes college members will enjoy helping her transform the “overgrown” plot into a food-producing, wildlife-supporting community project.

An overgrown allotment in Old Marston

Ella describes the allotment as “overgrown” but hopes the GTC community will come together to transform it.

All college members are welcome to become involved, including the children of student parents. Opportunities to sign up to help with the allotment will be communicated via email and Facebook. A rota system will be in place to ensure numbers are kept within the latest government guidelines and the site will adhere to COVID-secure measures. All sessions at the allotment will be led by Ella or a fellow Allotment Club member with advice and help given to those who would like to help grow, plant and harvest.

The Allotment Club will launch in March with weekend activities running from March to September, with a possible break in the summer. A harvest event will be held in September.

For more information, please contact allotment@gtc.ox.ac.uk.

To join the Allotment Club mailing list, please email gtc-allotment@maillist.ox.ac.uk. You will then be sent a subscription request.

Alongside providing an enjoyable outdoor activity, Ella is keen for the allotment to further the college’s commitment to sustainability. The food grown at the allotment will be offered to the Green Templeton kitchens, while kitchen scraps and other suitable material will be donated to the allotment for composting purposes.

Green Templeton is committed to working collectively for a sustainable future and is proud to have won a Gold Award in the 2020 NUS Green Impact Awards, in the first year the college submitted the application.

Created: 30 March 2021

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