Government officials have announced that the historic Isle of Wight town of Shanklin has been selected as Britain’s first set-aside town. During the next six months the municipality and surrounding villages will be evacuated, businesses will be closed and utilities will be cut off. The area will then be left to lie fallow for a two year period.
Set-aside is an old farming method where a field is left unused, or fallow, for a period of time to allow the soil to replenish nutrients and thus remain fertile for the next phase of crop rotation. In 2007 a government think-tank hit upon the idea of using this technique to revitalise parts of the country during recession.