A CHARITY is celebrating its first full year managing 16 allotment sites in and around York.

The York Allotments Charitable Incorporated Organisation (YACIO) was formed in August 2017 after a small group of people put themselves forward to take over the management of the sites, with around 1,200 plots, from City of York Council.

YACIO, which has run the allotments since November last year, has announced that it has achieved its targets for 2018.

They include being awarded charity status by the Charity Commission; building a close relationship with the site secretaries who give up their time to manage the waiting list, let vacant plots and ensure that sites are kept safe, tidy and welcoming; and securing the services of a part-time administrator to keep the organisation in order and a gardening contractor to maintain clear access so that tenants can reach their plots in safety.

It has also encouraged the creation of site associations - groups of plot holders - who wish to volunteer some of their time to develop and enhance the experience on their allotment site.

A new association has been formed on Glen Allotments in Tang Hall.

The trustees of YACIO are confident that rents will remain as they are for at least another two years.

Colin Smith, one of the trustees, said: "It has been a steep learning curve for all of us but I think it is fair to say that the trustees have found the experience very rewarding."