HEAVY rain could not dampen the spirits of scores of visitors to Harpers Lane Allotment Society’s seventh annual open day.

Music from the Soya Band accompanied a performance of Appellation dancing group Leap to Your Feet, and a stall selling produce — including grapes, tomatoes, salads and root vegetables — grown at the 71-plot allotment added to the festival atmosphere of the event.

There were other stalls selling chutneys, cheeses and books, with 10 per cent of the proceeds donated to prostate cancer charities.

Attendance at the open day in Smithills has increased steadily over the seven years it has been running, clocking 450 people at its peak.

Society treasurer David Jackson, whose wife, Margaret, is also treasurer, said: “We get visitors from all over the North West.

“We have been helped by the fact that this is National Allotments Week and our event has been listed in the Daily Telegraph.

“Our goal is to raise the profile of the allotment and stimulate community interes-ted in it.

“We are encouraged by the fact that Bolton Council have introduced community plots which allow people to try their hand at growing produce — to find out whether they enjoy it — before allocating allotments to them.”

Three events are set to be staged at the society’s base in 2015.

There will be an additional open day in spring, the usual August event and a visit from the Mikron Theatre Group, which is sponsored by the National Allotments Society.

The dates for all the events are yet to be announced.