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.
By Krystena Petrakas