1 Feb 2009

Has National Trust got land locally for allotments?

As regular blog readers will know I am keen to see more allotments locally and am part of the local working group - I have also been exploring other ideas with a local landowner - still more work to do on that but not enough hours in the day - anyhow I was delighted to read that the National Trust is looking at giving land for allotments. I have already written to them to see what situation might be locally - but also below I note a couple of other Glos projects...

Photo: Cainscross allotments

I saw the article in The Telegraph by chance - see here - the Trust is one of the biggest landowners in the country and has asked all its properties to identify potential sites for allotments and for older people to come forward to teach people the "lost skills" of gardening. Excellent stuff indeed - and all part of their new initiative to encourage self sufficiency and healthy eating.

Shockingly the amount of land given over to allotments has halved in the last 30 years to just 25,000 acres because food has been so cheap at supermarkets. There are currently 100,000 people on waiting lists for allotments - and many more who haven't bothered to join a list as there are no allotments in their area.

The last time public land was given over to allotments was when parks were devoted to food production in the Second World War. As this blog has noted before the vast proportion of land in Britain is owned by one per cent of the population, meaning few ordinary people have access to land to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Now with food security a growing problem and more people interested in fresh, local produce it is more important than ever to encourage grow-your-own.

Other projects

I was excited by news recently that Greens had helped save the Tredworth Allotments in Gloucester. Also Vision 21 are inviting 5 individuals/families to share in their Cheltenham allotments and share the crops project - they will also help you grow stuff there and also offer free consultations, advice and labour to anyone who is starting growing in their own garden! Places are limited so phone: 01242 224321. Plus V21 are on the look out for more land so if you own land and would like to see it used for community vegetable growing please also contact them.

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