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Photographer says tending an allotment can help you flourish

Paul Golder writes for the Brentwood Gazette

We featured a very interesting guest in Gary Atkinson at the Phoenix FM studios last week.

Gary is a professional photographer based in Brentwood. We is currently working on a project at local Brentwood allotments taking environmental portraits.

These pictures are now currently on show at an exhibition, “Rods, Roots & Rhubarb”, which is taking place right now at Chelmsford Library. It appeared in Brentwood Library last month and will be coming to Shenfield in December too.

The portraits provoke a conversation about the challenges of allotment holders in the 21st century. It poses the question of why people have allotments now. People don’t just have them for growing produce – they also provide a sense of community, exercise, fresh air, fresh food and aids mental well-being.

Gary’s interview with Michelle Ward was very interesting, not just from a photography point of view but from an oral history standpoint too. It can be heard again at

** Tickets are now available for our latest Curry Night fundraiser at Shenfield Cricket Club, in aid of Saint Francis Hospice. It takes place from 7.30pm on Saturday 17 November and tickets – just £10 – can be bought from Steve Roach at

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