Making a Difference
The National Allotment Society is made up of ten regional bodies, consisting of thousands of members, who are our greatest asset and who work hard to support the allotment movement in their area. On this page we will feature monthly the achievements of just a few of these "allotment heroes".
Illustration shows Don with Alan Hull the Chair of the North West region of the NAS.
Don Booth Chair of Salford Allotment Federation
NAS member Don Booth, Chair of both Salford Allotment Federation and Green Pennant award winning Tindall Street allotments, Peel Green has worked tirelessly for almost 50 years to promote allotments in the city, regenerating and developing sites and promoting self-management. In recent years he has been instrumental in encouraging Salford council to re-open disused sites that had lain fallow for many years resulting in over a 100 new plots. In 2015 Don was given the Chairman’s award from the North West Counties Allotments Association for his work re-opening closed allotments and supporting Salford Allotment Federation.
To achieve the Green Pennant award Don and his team at Tindall Street pulled together funding from many different sources and work from many community groups to develop and restore the site. The site has areas accessible to disabled visitors, a compost toilet, a community orchard, a junior garden and a sensory space. In 2011 Tindall St. Allotment Group from Eccles was announced as one of 130 winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for groups of volunteers who work in their local community for the benefit of others.
Mindful of the current threat to urban allotments from the search for land for housing and the need for more allotments to serve an increase in residents Don is now encouraging Salford residents who care about allotments and greenspace to engage with both the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and the Salford Local Plan both of which are open for consultation at the moment. The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) is a joint plan between the ten local authorities to manage growth and land allocation sustainably. It has been created to make sure that new homes, jobs and transport links are in the right places leaving space for economic and cultural growth as the city-region continues to grow over the next few decades. It is estimated that Salford needs 34,000 extra homes to cope with future demand based on national and economic forecasts. Salford City Council already has plans for where most of those homes will be built.
The Federation is recommending that within the development of the dwellings, the planning will include 5000 square metres of allotments per 1000 households. This standard equates to the provision of 20 plots per 1000 households as referred to in the City Council's Allotment Strategy and recommended by the NAS but allows flexibility for half size plots (of 125 square metres) to be provided, which will enable as many residents as possible to take an allotment. The 34,000 extra homes for Salford are made up of 30% houses and 70% apartments that will have no garden space whatsoever.