Wheelchair access at Topsham allotments for former London Marathon winner

Sarah Piercey at Topsham Allotments

Sarah Piercey at Topsham Allotments - Credit: RGB Building Supplies

Wheelchair access has been created for a former London Marathon winner who has swapped her athletic career for growing trees. 

Sarah Piercey won the 2000 London Marathon women’s wheelchair event on her first attempt and has since completed nine further London Marathons, as well as becoming the world speed record holder for a woman in a handbike. 

Now she has taken to planting tree seedlings at the Butt Park East allotment site in Topsham. 

With advice from Topsham resident Matt Leigh, who works as a project manager on the Alan Titchmarsh Love Your Garden television show, plot 29C has been transformed for Sarah’s use. 

All the work was done by a group of allotment holders who dismantled the existing shed, removed decaying raised beds and flattened the ground.  

RGB Building Supplies donated a hexagonal plastic flooring system for use across the whole plot. 

Sarah said: “It’s been a very interesting and challenging job to make it possible for me to continue growing trees to help our planet. I’m truly grateful for everyone’s amazing help and support.  

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“Let’s hope there will be some lovely trees to bring back some nature and beauty to our area.” 

Ralph Hare, site manager, added: “We have wanted to create a wheelchair accessible allotment plot for a long time, so we’re thrilled we’ve been able to do it.  

“It really shows what can be achieved when local organisations and people help each other.  

“As well as the flooring from RGB, Apex Scaffolding donated boards to create raised beds, local residents gave us topsoil and Exeter Council have installed a water tap, and we want to say a huge thanks to everyone involved.  

“We look forward to seeing the tree seedlings Sarah grows being planted across our area.” 

Paul West, Branch Manager at RGB Exeter, added: “The plot looks fantastic.  

“We try to support as many community-based projects as possible and were delighted to provide the group with a flooring system to help them transform the area.  

“We wish Sarah all the best with her fantastic project.” 

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