Tag Archives: photos

Bring Famous Photographer Rankin to St Anns Allotments!

Cast your vote to ‘win’ world famous photographer Rankin for Nottingham – the man behind portraits of the Queen, Kate Moss and Dove’s ‘Real Women’ campaign.

Rankin 4 Notts

This is an exciting opportunity to bring Rankin to our allotments! If Nottingham wins, he’ll photograph plot holders, volunteers and local people at the allotments. The photographs will then be displayed at a special evening event at the allotments. But it won’t happen without votes!

As many votes as possible are needed to ‘win’ Rankin for Nottingham in a national competition called Connect10. The city is up against fierce competition from Bath, Brighton and Kent.

Voting opens on 14 January and closes on 28 January. You can cast your vote online at:


If you don’t have access to the internet or an email address you can register your vote by calling The Renewal Trust on 0115 911 2011.

To learn more about Rankin and see some of his photos, take a look at hiswebsite.

Help spread the word on Twitter by submitting your own photos of Nottingham using the hashtag #Rankin4Notts and following @Rankin4Notts.

Let’s put St Anns Allotments on the map!


November Update

If you like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you might have noticed that we have started loading our time capsule!

Here’s a a sneak peek of some of the things we’re putting in…

2013-11-13 (1)

To find out more, take a look at our Facebook timeline photos. Each photo has a short explanation and we’ll be adding more soon.

The time capsule will be buried in the centre of our labyrinth which is being worked on by DISO volunteers.


Here’s a picture of the DISO team.


In other news: Last month we were sad to see Rob Zviko leave. We enjoyed a nice meal at Mister Pizza in West Bridgford to say goodbye. Here’s the whole STAA staff team below (with Rob in the middle) – you don’t often see us all in one place at the same time!


Finally, we’d like to share a colourful photo from the Heritage Display Garden to cheer up the winter blues. To see more photos, take a look at the Facebook album.


What’s New at St Anns Allotment Visitor Centre

Phew! What a summer! We’ve had lots of visitors at the new centre and on tours around the site. Everyone seems to have really enjoyed walking around our allotments and we’ve had lots of very positive feedback.

Over the summer, signs (paid for by Heritage Lottery Funds) have been popping up all over the site, thanks to Nick from Something Visual. The signs have already been useful for new tenants and visitors. What do you think?


No more getting lost on site! Click here for more pictures.

The weather is now much cooler, but think back to the sweltering heat of July – that’s when we decided to start shooting our film! Over two or three very hot days we filmed at Oliver’s Heritage Display Garden and near the visitor centre. We even have some aerial shots of the site. All actors and film crew were provided with plenty of cool drinks and everyone had a lot of fun! We’ve only seen a sneaky peak of the film, and can’t wait to see it all when it’s finished.

As you can see, we’ve had a summer packed with new and exciting projects, but it doesn’t stop there! We are delighted that St Anns Allotments has been chosen by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for the latest walk in its “Discovering Britain” series. The free self-guided walk tells the story of the development of this unique site. To take a look at the route and download the free audio or written walking guide, click here. If you’re an allotment holder on site, you may recognise some familiar voices on the audio guide, so listen carefully! Please note that we have the walking guide in booklet form at the visitor centre, which will be available to buy or rent. We hope to have mp3 players soon, so watch this space.


Summer has been great and we have lots more planned in September too. We hope to see you all at the Victorian Tea Party on Saturday 14th September (don’t forget to dress up) and at our Harvest Celebration on Sunday 22nd September. If you’re an allotment holder at St Anns Allotments and fancy showing your plot off, why not enter one of the competitions below – it’s free! Please contact the office on 0115 9589255 for more details.


Courgette Risotto

Courgettes are very versatile vegetables. You can dice them, grate them, fry them or roast them. They are great with pasta, in soup, and can even be eaten raw with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil when sliced very thinly. Learn how to grow courgettes here.

This week I was given some lovely allotment-grown courgettes and decided to treat myself to a courgette risotto. The great thing about risotto is that once you know the basic recipe, you can go wild and experiment. The method never changes, only the ingredients.


Ingredients (for 2 people)
1 onion – thinly chopped
a couple of slices of bacon – cut into small pieces
1-2 courgettes – diced
1-2 cloves garlic – chopped
a few tomatoes – chopped
a handful of peas
a cup of Arborio rice
a cup of white wine
olive oil / butter
vegetable stock
a handful of chopped mint
salt and pepper to season
parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a large pan and soften the onion on a low heat. Add the bacon and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the courgette, tomato and peas to the pan and cook for approximately 5 minutes (depending on how soft you like your courgettes).

Stir in the rice until coated with oil. Gradually add the wine and stock to the pan whilst continually stirring for approximately 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Towards the end, sprinkle in the mint, salt, pepper and some parmesan cheese. Make sure the risotto ‘oozes’ before serving.



Grate some more parmesan over the risotto and enjoy with a glass of white wine. Delizioso!


Depending on what you like or what you have in the garden/fridge, you can alter this recipe as you want. Do you have a favourite recipe for courgettes? Please let us know!

Elderflower Fritters… Yum!

If anyone saw me walking around with a pair of scissors and an empty bag earlier today, I was attempting to find and collect the last elderflowers of the year.

My plan had been to make elderflower cordial. But when I returned to the Visitor Centre, a couple of people started raving about elderflower fritters, and I was intrigued. They sounded so tasty, I decided to give them a go instead!


It’s best to pick the flowers when they are still very white and new. I should have gone elderflower foraging a couple of weeks ago really, but there were still a few pretty, delicate white flowers on the trees around the allotments, and I didn’t do too badly.

When I got home, I looked up a recipe, and found this simple one from Nigel Slater.


First of all, you have to make the batter: Beat 100g of sifted plain flour, 2 tablespoons of oil and 175ml of sparkling mineral water into a stiff paste, then add a tablespoon of sugar. Leave the batter to rest for 30 minutes.

While you’re waiting, dip the elderflowers into cold water and get rid of any insects. Cut the flower heads, leaving a bit of a stem so that you can pick the fritters up with your fingers. Leave to dry on paper towels.


Just before you fry the elderflower heads, beat an egg white and fold into the batter. Heat up a pan of oil, and when hot enough, dip the flower heads into the batter and place into the hot oil. It shouldn’t take long for the batter to turn a light golden brown. Take the fritters out and dip into a bowl of caster sugar.


The fritters will be cool enough to eat within a few moments. It’s best to eat them while they are still warm and crisp. Yum!

Do you have a favourite elderflower recipe to share? Let us know!

What’s New at St Anns Allotments Visitor Centre

We’ve been very busy bees at STAA recently. Some of it has been because of boring things such as rents and organising new tenancy agreements. But we’ve also had a lot of exciting things going on. Here are just a few of the things that we’ve been up to…

At the beginning of May we (finally!) moved to our brand spanking new Visitor Centre. We arrived just in time to see the finishing touches being put up in the visitor area – what a colourful wall!

Working from the new Visitor Centre is great for the office based STAA workers who can now spend their lunchtimes walking around the beautiful site. The office is only a few minutes away from views like this…

It’s also a comfortable base for the people that usually work on site to use when the weather isn’t so pleasant.

Many tenants have already popped by to say hello and have a little snoop around. Now that we are on site, it’s going to be much easier for tenants to keep in touch.

Dominic Heale and Nottingham East MP Chris Leslie joined us for an official opening, with a ribbon cutting moment and everything! (Click here for an article and video).

The committee will also be organising a small event for tenants to celebrate the opening of the centre, so watch this space.

As well as moving and celebrating, we’ve also been busy getting ready for our summer events and tours. Oliver’s Heritage Display Garden has never looked so good! We’re so lucky to have such a fantastic group of dedicated volunteers who have put in so much time and effort. Thanks guys!

And of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without Kate, who sadly left last week. We said goodbye to her in true English fashion with tea, cake and pouring rain! Luckily we were all sheltered in the Victorian glasshouse so didn’t get too wet.


Goodbye Kate! Thanks for all of your hard work!

Talking of tea and cake. Everyone at STAA is very excited about our upcoming event – the Victorian Tea Party! We’ve had lots of fun planning and researching. Here’s a little taster of what you can expect…

So if you’re in Nottingham next Saturday and fancy a treat, why not come along! Click on the picture below for more information.


For more photos and regular updates, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Heritage Open Day at St Anns Allotments

It’s been over a month since our wonderful Heritage Open Day at the allotments and we thought it about time we shared a few photos and let you know what we got up to. Unfortunately, the STAA team and our brilliant volunteers were so busy on the day that we haven’t actually got that many pictures. So feel free to get in touch if you took any good ones!

The morning started off with a promisingly blue sky and a crowd of people eager for the first tour of the day, led by Frances. The Gardens Past and Present Tour led us through the history of the site and stopped off at Charlie’s plot (which is always fun!), the Perry Orchard and finally Oliver’s Plot. Other tours of the day showed the renovations of the Western Bank and conservation and wildlife areas.


 This was the first time that Oliver’s Plot had been shown to the public, and we got some very positive feedback from visitors. It’s the perfect place to relax and escape the noise of the city. Many people enjoyed wandering around and admiring all the hard work our volunteers have put in. There’s also a fantastic view over Nottingham.


Lots of fun things were going on in the Community Orchard! Children particularly loved pond dipping in the Urban Nature wildlife area.

Pond Dipping

It was hard to escape the International Gardener, who wandered around with a group of kids, singing compliments to passers by!


 The day was full of lively fun, however some people also like to find a peaceful spot to settle down for an hour or two. Hidden away over the bridge and in a sunny patch of grass, a family spent their day enjoying a picnic!


 We all had a great time and hope you did too! For more photos, please see our Facebook page.