Sunday, 1 April 2012

Allotment Waiting Lists

I put myself down on the allotment waiting lists in April 2011. One year on and that is exactly what I have been doing - waiting albeit not very patiently. Every time we pass an allotment site and I spot a less than perfect plot, I complain to the other half that it should be mine and that I would never let it get messy. Similarly, every time I spot a vacant piece of land I always comment that it could be used for allotment space and therefore bumping me ever closer to the top of the list.
Apparently where we are, the waiting time is around 4 years so I still have a lot more waiting to do. The person waiting at the top of the list for the site list I joined has been waiting since March 2009 so that gives us some idea of how long we are likely to be waiting.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am lucky to have a garden large enough to be able to dedicate some space to growing but not as much as the 125 square metres I will get when I finally get an allotment.
I guess allotment waiting lists go up and down in line with the general prosperity of the nation - during the second world war everyone clamoured for allotment space to aid the war effort and then as things were getting better in the 50s, interest waned and many allotment sites were lost. Since the current recession started, numbers of people requesting allotments has risen with people trying to save money by "growing their own." It doesn't appear that many local councils are doing very much to increase the amount of allotment land available, indeed my local council seems to have taken the view that it is better to keep cutting up the existing sites into smaller and smaller plots to give more people a go. I can see why this seems like a good idea but I can't help thinking that part of the reason that people want an allotment is to have the space to grow crops and enjoy their own bit of space rather than to be squashed in and limited by space as to what can be grown.
Do you have an allotment or are you waiting? I'd love to hear your allotment/waiting list stories.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lucy, I really hope you get a plot soon. I was really lucky in that I just got in there 4 years ago, before allotments took off in our small city. There's a waiting list on our site now (not sure how long) and the plots that become available are being divided in half, which I do think is a shame. However, if you get a half plot, it's a good starting point, less daunting and there's always hope that you can get another half later on. It's really hard work, constant weeding, but I love every minute of it. Enjoy growing in your garden and learn as much as you can, then you'll be a pro by the time you get a plot!