The National Allotment Society - National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd

National Allotments Week 2017 – 14 to 20 August

What are you doing for National Allotments Week?

Click here for a list of Open Days and Allotments Shows in the Regions during National Allotments Week and over the summer, this will be updated regularly.

This year our theme is “Growing the Movement” a celebration of all the hard work put in by voluntary association management committees, plot-holder volunteers and councils managing, creating, developing and safeguarding sites.

Allotments have a long history of voluntary endeavour; including the National Allotment Society itself, whose roots go back to the early twentieth century. Increasing numbers of voluntary allotment associations have taken on devolved management of their sites in recent years but there are many more who have been quietly getting on with it for decades; managing finances, maintaining and developing sites, monitoring plot cultivation, recruiting and supporting new plot-holders, arranging events and liaising with the allotment authority or landlord. Roeshot Hill Allotment Association, who manage the site on behalf of Christchurch Borough Council have recently been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space. This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

The National Allotment Society President elect, Phil Gomersall National Allotment Society thinks that commitment from the community is key to the future of the movement and that we “Need all our P’s in one basket, People Power from Plots to help Preserve and Promote the nations’ allotments”

The Society also feels that it is important to acknowledge that, despite the pressure on land to build new houses and the effect on allotment services of the reductions in council subsidies, allotments are still thriving. Councils are still increasing their allotment provision, mainly via new housing developments and this year we will see the release of land from BT for hundreds of temporary growing sites. The creation of 14 new garden villages and 3 new garden towns will include green spaces and natural environments for local communities and the Society is presently contacting developers to accentuate the need to include allotments in this green infrastructure. The Master Plan for Taunton Deane, one of the garden towns, includes plans for a multi-purpose “green necklace” around the development with allotments, recreation areas and wildlife habitat and the NAS is represented on the group that will work towards the new Taunton Garden Town Plan.

To mark the week allotment groups across the UK will be opening their gates and holding barbecues, plant and produce sales, allotment tours, competitions and exhibitions, coffee mornings and afternoon teas – many of them raising funds to support local charities. Allotments in Leicester will be holding Open Days over the whole of August and the week prior to the campaign week Leeds and District Allotment Gardeners will be celebrating their centenary with a roving pop-up allotment in Leeds City Centre. To commemorate 100 years of Bexley Allotment Gardeners Federation they, in partnership with Bexley Council, will be promoting allotment growing in the Broadway Shopping area on Saturday 19 August. Mile Rd Allotments in Bedford will be supporting Sue Ryder with a Saturday 19 Coffee Morning. Ards Allotments in Newtownards, Northern Ireland will be holding their annual Open Day on the 19 August and Granville Park Allotments in Urmston, Manchester and Lavant Allotments in Chichester will be having their annual Open Days on Sunday 20 August. Barnsdale Gardens in Oakham will be holding their annual Vegetable Weekend on the 19 and 20 August. On the Sunday representatives from the Society will be there with information about the Society and allotment growing and our own Mike Thurlow will be presenting a Beginners’ Allotment Course.

Barnsdale Gardens Summer Vegetable Weekend - 19 & 20 August, 11am-4pm coincides with National Allotments Week this year and they will be opening up the productive areas that are normally off-limits to visitors, their expert grower will be available to advise you on your own veggie production and chat to you about her favourite subject!

We will have an information stand on the Sunday at the Barnsdale weekend and the NAS horticultural expert Mike Thurlow will be running a " Starting your Allotment" Course from 10 till 3.30pm. The course costs £20 for the day, email diane@nsalg.org.uk for booking details and click here to view the programme.

Leeds & District Allotment Gardeners Federation is celebration it’s centenary year this year. As part of those celebrations it is creating a ‘Pop up allotment garden in several venues in Leeds City Centre. Come and see us and see what we are all about.

Monday 7th Aug                Front of the Town Hall (Bottom of the main steps)

Tuesday 8th Aug                Merrion Street Gardens (Grass\ Small patio area in the centre of the Garden)

Wednesday 9th Aug          Park Square (Near the central tree)

Thursday 10th Aug            Sovereign Street Square (Exact location still to be agreed)

Friday 11th Aug                  Back to the Town Hall

By the 7th the front of the Town Hall will be a pop-up park with artificial grass, picnic tables etc., Sovereign St Square is a lovely new pocket park between two large office blocks.

Interview with Shedstore blog The Garden Life Blog on the Shedstore website got in touch to ask us some questions about allotments and why National Allotment Week is important. Click on the link to read.

The NAS aims to protect, promote and preserve allotments and we call on all those who value allotments to support us in this endeavour, we can all do our part-

  • Allotment associations - protect your site, register as a community asset. Allotment Federations -keep allotments in the public eye, make sure they are mentioned in the Local Plan and lobby your councillors and MPs.
  • Councils preserve and value your allotment service – it has the potential to deliver some of your public health targets.
  • Plot-holders -join the National Allotment Society and support your regional allotment network to promote the allotment movement.
  • Aspiring plot-holders - do not be put off by the thought of a long wait – sign up for a plot now; without waiting lists allotment authorities cannot assess demand.

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