National Allotments Week 8-14 August 2011Visit an allotment and see why people love to grow their own

05 August 2011

Allotment 1

If you have an allotment, or are keen to get one, get involved with National Allotments Week from the 8-14 August 2011 and see what it is about grow-your-own that people love so much.

National Allotments Week

National Allotments Week is run by the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners (NSALG) and is a week of open allotments and events to highlight the benefits and importance of allotments and to raise awareness of grow-your-own.

It’s an opportunity for allotments to open to the public and hold community events, and for those without to put pressure on their local authorities to supply further plots.

The NSALG say, "National Allotments Week is the perfect opportunity to find out more about allotments. If you don’t already have an allotment then you can visit different allotment sites and see what all the fuss is about! An allotment gives you the chance to grow your own fresh produce for a fraction of the price that you would pay in a supermarket. Working on an allotment also gives you fresh air and exercise and it’s a great place to meet friendly people too. For existing allotment holders, it is a great time to showcase your talents and introduce others to the world of allotments!"

Growing your own veg

Why have an allotment?

Which? commissioned a survey in June 2011 to find out how many people are growing their own and showed that a quarter of people are now growing their own veg, the main reasons being to save money and to be more healthy.

Allotments are great for those with limited space to grow their own, providing enough space to grow a good range of fruit, veg and even cut flowers. They’re also for those looking for a fun, rewarding and sociable hobby too.

There are many other benefits that come with having an allotment too. Read our free guide, ‘Why have an allotment?’ to find out more.

How to find an allotment

Read our free guide about how to find an allotment with everything you need to know about getting started, including finding a site, how to apply and more what to look out for when choosing. It’s worth taking into account factors such as security, whether you can park nearby and the allotment rules about buildings on the site.

Allotment waiting lists 

For advice on getting an allotment, read our free guide, ‘how to get an allotment’.

The grow-your-own trend has been increasing for the past few years, and especially so since food prices have shot up at such an alarming rate. With more people wanting to grow their own, and some local authorities not having enough allotment space to cater for the demand, waiting lists can be long.

The NSALG recently carried out a survey of allotment waiting lists held by local authorities. It showed that there are currently a total of 86,787 people waiting for an allotment.

Allotment alternatives 

Allotment 2

If the waiting lists in your area are long, here are some alternatives:

  • Landshare – Landshare connects people who want land to grow on with people who have land to share. Members use the landshare website to advertise spare land and land wanted.
  • Community Land Advisory Service – this service has been developed to tackle the shortage of land provided for community gardening. They provide direct advice and support to landowners and community groups in order to secure land access on fair terms. Visit the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens website for more details.

Get involved with National Allotments Week

The week runs from the 8-14 August and anyone can get involved, whether you have an allotment or not.

Allotments across the country will be opening their gates to the public to show off their hard work, sell excess produce and explain why they like to grow their own so much.

Visit the National Allotments Week website to find out what events are happening, or call your local allotment society for details of what’s on in your local area.

growing page

Free advice: How to grow your own veg

Growing your own fruit and veg can save money and is very rewarding, whether you have a full allotment or just a few containers. If you’re keen to grow veg but aren’t sure where to start, read our free advice guide on how to grow your own veg.