How long do people wait for one of our allotments?
Last month I read an interesting article from the October issue of Gardener’s World magazine, entitled ‘Lots more allotments!
Quoting from the Association for Public Service Excellence, the article highlighted the skyrocketing demand for allotments in 87% of local authorities.
According to the article, The National Allotment Society revealed that over half of the ‘would-be plot-holders’ are waiting more than eighteen months for a plot and that more new sites are needed to accommodate demand.
One reason for this demand was attributed to the desire, or need, for people to grow their own vegetables due to the ‘spiralling’ cost of living crisis. That is no doubt the case and this year in particular, I have found myself gaping at the high cost of vegetables, fruits and flowers in our supermarkets. And for the first time in my gardening career, I have really appreciated the financial benefit of growing my own produce, as well as all the other benefits of course, too many to mention.
The demand for allotments certainly shows the value that people place on growing their own vegetables and flowers and our own site is very good example of this. The minutes of the January AGM 2020, (two months before lock-down), show a waiting list of twelve people. Our current waiting list, as of this month (Nov. 2022) stands at sixty-six people, a 450% increase!
Acknowledging the financial savings of ‘growing your own’ (as above), I believe there are other factors for this rapid and unprecedented increase. Once lockdown was announced, I remember being eternally grateful I could still visit my plot. I had a purpose to my solitary walks; fresh air, planning, sowing, growing, and caring for things, albeit inanimate objects and for a little while I could forget about the pandemic and spend time at my ‘happy place’. I felt blessed! And I know at Highbury South, I was not alone with this sense of gratitude. And since then, there have been so many articles written about the well-being benefits of gardening and being productive outside. It is almost as though the world has just woken up to something we gardeners have always known and practiced for years.
References: Gardener’s World, October 2022.