All over the country communities are fighting for their allotment rights, and it seems to be working.
Data taken from 2011 showed, the average number of people on allotment waiting lists for a county in the UK was around 400 people. The graph below (click on graph to enlarge) lists the 21 counties with the highest number waiting lists, with Sheffield having 2,411 people on its waiting list.
The graph also shows an alarmingly low number of sites for allotments throughout the UK.
However, 2012 has taken a step in the right direction in tackling the growing problem of allotment waiting lists and development. Despite Green Party candidate Jenny Jones not winning the London mayoral election last week, which may have led to the closure of London City Airport to make way for allotment sites or a green industrial park, there has still been encouraging allotments news around the UK.
Vale council are launching their first allotment strategy, with consultations currently taking place till 30th June to ask the community for their opinions on drafting a scheme to lower their waiting list, which currently has 875 people.
While in Northampshire, Kettering Allotments have got two of their waiting lists down to zero and are now taking new local applications.
And in Somerset a charity is pushing for developers to factor in allotment space when building new houses. The charity plan to collaborate with people in the community to tackle the county’s oversubscribed allotment waiting lists.
If you’re interested in getting involved in allotment schemes, check your local council to see if there any forums you can join.
In London, due to the limited space in developing new allotment sites, they have shared allotments that you can register to be part of. To see where your closest allotment is visit the London Allotment website.
Everybody seems strapped for cash at the moment and it feels like we’re all giving up wild nights out for a bottle of cheap white wine and cosy DVD nights on the sofa. But luckily for us gardening is still affordable – the only pastime where the cost of doing the activity hasn’t risen more quickly than inflation. According to a study by the Halifax bank ten out of 11 activities studied, including going to the gym, watching Premier League football and visiting the cinema rose by over forty per cent in the last decade. In contrast the monthly cost of gardening had risen by just seventeen per cent.
We’re interested to know how much our readers are spending on gardening per month. Tell us by filling out the poll below!
By Natasha Wynarczyk. Photo by psd under a CC licence
If you are unable to look after your garden because of ill-health or other reasons, you can sign up to the scheme by downloading an application form and you’ll be matched up with somebody who wants to help.
If you don’t have a garden but want to start gardening, you can donate your time to help, either by growing fruit and vegetables or flowers and shrubs.
You can also get perks such as free gardening training and references as well as being able to take home some of what you’ve grown.
Have any of our readers taken part in the garden swap? We’d love to know and hear about your experiences – you could even do a guest post for us! Comment below or tweet us @eastendgardener.
By Natasha Wynarczyk. Photo by Anthony Lui under a CC licence
A couple of weeks ago I was doing a work attachment at the Ham & High newspaper in London. I was sent to Belsize Park to vox-pop locals about a historic florist which is set to be demolished in the area.
The Salmon Florist, located next door to Belzise Park tube station, is over a century old. The quaint little hut, which sells a range of flowers and shrubs, brightens up Haverstock Hill, standing out in a street full of chain restaurants and high-street shops.
The hut was once part of the Devonshire nurseries, which used to cover a large proportion of the land by the tube (it’s now a council estate and coffee shops). Despite opposition from some residents, Camden Council have sold the land, which looks like it will be replaced with a basement development.
Despite it being a cold and rainy day, a number of people stopped to look at the plants. The vast majority of people I spoke to said they were sad to see it go, as it is such a focal point of the area. Many had gone there to buy additions to their gardens or seasonal decorations and gifts and thought it’d be a shame.
It’s a sad fact that similar things are happening all over London (and the rest of the UK as well). We need to start supporting our local, independent gardening shops.
Do you know of anything similar happening in East London? Tweet us @eastendgardener.
Over Bank Holiday weekend, East End Gardener arrived at picturesque Spitalfields Farm, London. The farm has organised the annual Goat Race for the past four years to raise money for their excellent community farming and animal welfare projects. Tickets were £5, with free refreshments sponsored by Hendricks Gin.
Space in East London is going to be in high demand during the Olympics, but a group has come up with an innovative way to combat this.
Camp in my Garden is the world’s first garden camping community. Started by Victoria Webbon in April 2011, it allows individuals to either rent out their garden or apply to camp in somebody else’s garden.
I’ve included a map below of campsites in East London from their website.
We’re interested to know what our readers think. Would you rent out your garden during the Olympics? Get in touch at eastendgardener[at]gmail[dot]com or in the comments below.
Today kicks off the start of National Gardening Week, not that we gardening enthusiasts need an excuse garden, but the Royal Horticultural Society has put on an abundance of events to keep our green fingers busy. You can find the full list of activities at nationalgardeningweek.org.uk
With a week of April showers forecast for London and the majority of the UK, I feel a boost of encouragement is needed to get all urbanites to dust off their shovels, get into their wellies and get your urban garden looking bright and blossoming for the summer months to come.
We want to encourage all urban gardeners who do join in with National Gardening Week to let us know what you get up to, whether you’re potting a plant, weeding the flowerbeds or mowing your lawn, it would be great to hear and see what you get up to this week. Feel free to contact us if you fancy writing a guest post for our blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you have any gardening queries just comment below this post and we’ll get back to you with our tips and advice. And for those who get a chance to go to the events the Royal Horticultural Society are putting on, we want to hear about that too, so please comment and let us know your thoughts.
Here are some photos from Pinterest to inspire you this week: