Flooding should be a thing of the past for the allotments in north Swindon after work has started to install a new drain.

The Pickards Field allotments off Pinehurst Road have suffered 10 years of repeatedly being submerged in water.

This week roughly 30 meters of drains will have been installed thanks to a £5,500 lottery grant given to the Swindon Allotment and Leisure Garden Association who are based at the site.

Michael Northcott, shop manager and committee member for the association said: “This is the start of something big for us here at SALGA.

“Because we’re on an angle here, when it floods all it does is wash everything off the top soil.

“So any fertilisers or manure you’ve put on the soil, all the goodness has gone.

“Which obviously means a lot of wasted work for us,” Michael said.

He added: “It floods anytime there’s a downpour.

“We have had this every year. You can be wading through eight inches of water when it gets really bad.”

“That’s why we have all the mud all over the paths, left behind afterwards,” he said.

The site has over 200 allotments making it the biggest in Swindon.

SALGA boasts over 400 members and hosts an annual horticultural show for members to showcase what they have grown.

Once the drain is installed it will allow the group to open a garden specifically aimed at the children in local schools.

SALGA has been holding an annual gardening competition involving 15 schools across Swindon for the past five years, but wants to expand its educational side.

“The main aim for us is the children,” said Michael

“To help them to learn about seeds and where their food comes from, and get them involved in that side of things.”

The plan is to have the garden ready by spring next year.

“Some of the school children only have a small 10 foot by 20 foot plot at their school, or even just some shelving where they grow the plants or vegetables,” Michael said.

“We want to bring them here to show them the bigger side of things. They can see some larger stuff growing and how that happens,” he said