|High five for veg King!
Les Hawkins receives his trophy from Wigan Councilís Cabinet member for Leisure Cllr Chris Ready.
WIGAN and Leighís king of the allotment has been crowned for the fifth year in a row!
Green fingered Les Hawkins was awarded the James Prescott Trophy for the best kept allotment on Tuesday 6 November and it marks him out as the boroughís top grower for five years straight.
The 71-year-old took up the hobby nine years ago after beating bowel cancer.
Nationally itís been a tough year for both professional and amateur growers. The wettest April to June on record has meant poor harvests and increases in prices at the supermarket.
Les, who lives near his allotment on Hope Carr Lane, Leigh said: ďItís a brilliant feeling, I canít believe Iíve won it for the fifth year.
ďItís not been easy with the weather, in fact itís been terrible.
ďMy crops are about half what they were last year and I donít know anyone whoís had a good year. Itís been a tough growing year but as always itís still been hugely enjoyable.Ē
Judges from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, who manage the boroughís allotments, picked out Lesís patch ahead of the other 325 plots in recognition of its general layout, condition and the variety of produce grown.
Presenting the trophy, Cllr Chris Ready, Wigan Councilís Cabinet member for Leisure said: ďLesís plot is immaculate and a testimony to his hard work and endeavor. Growing your own isnít just a fantastic way of bringing down the cost of your shopping bill itís also a great exercise and because thereís hardly any food miles involved it reduces your carbon footprint.Ē
The James Prescott Trophy is named after a keen Leigh gardener who donated the prize to Leigh Borough Council in 1956 to encourage more people to look after their allotments.
Wigan Leisure and Culture Trustís Parks Activity Co-ordinator Michael Fishwick was one of the judges.
He said: ďLes has proved once again that, despite one of the wettest seasons in history he is truly King of the Crop!
ďLes has consistently demonstrated innovative growing methods, excellent plot husbandry and the necessary skill to produce a broad range of fruit and vegetables.
ďCompetition from other tenants was strong this year, however Les held off the opposition to quite rightly retain his crown.Ē