A south Norfolk village opened a new allotment this morning (Saturday) to help promote healthy lifestyles and foster a community spirit.

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Tasburgh Allotment Society (TAS) officially opened the 17 plot allotment on half an acre of land close to the village social club in Church Road on Saturday in a sunny ceremony conducted by South Norfolk councillor Florence Ellis.

Villagers ranging in age from 30 to nearly 60 have received plots, for which they are paying the council between £20 and £35 a year.

TAS secretary Simon Orford said the scheme, which had been two years in the making, had brought together villagers in a range of professions including science and insurance work, for the chance to grow vegetables and meet each other.

He added: “Over the months we have tried to develop a link with the village. The community feel of it is as important as all the fresh vegetables and exercise.

“We suddenly have a link with people and that is where the roots of it lie. We have had 20 monthly meetings by now and we have seen this group grow from being complete strangers sitting quietly across a room to becoming good friends and that is actually what it should be, a local village thing that is bringing people together.”

Tasburgh Parish Council chairman Dave Moore said: “It is wonderful to see this project finally come to its conclusion.

“Tasburgh village is a place with such community spirit it is great to see so many people who are interested in ‘growing their own’ and who have pushed so hard to make this project happen.

“I would like to thank my fellow parish councillors, and everyone involved in the allotment project for their efforts.”

The society members found out which plots were theirs at the launch, through a random draw. A barbecue breakfast was also served.

Ms Ellis added: “I think this is one of the best things that could have happened and I know all the plots have been taken up and there is a waiting list.

“People have been able to have a small allotment if they wanted which is great, and they’re keen to get this small community in the bigger community started.”

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