Allotments gaining in popularity
The BBC News magazine has recently reported on the increasingly popularity of allotments, which in some areas have 10 year waiting lists. There is now a new breed of allotment enthusiast – more likely to be young, female and bringing the children along.
In Penwortham this trend is also apparent. On the plots near to my own 5 are rented by young women, although we still have many older men and couples that are happy to help with advice and expertise.
Claire Willis of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (NSALG) says ‘ Its becoming much more of a community activity’
Allotments are also being used to improve health – with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers running “Green Gyms” where gardening skills are used as a form of exercise. In Penwortham there are plans for the council to adopt an allotment and use it to help educate secondary school children about the environment, food and health.
But in spite of their growing popularity and valued place in society the future for allotments remains uncertain. Allotments have protected status, and a spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government is quoted in the BBC report as saying it aims “to deliver and protect allotments” and that “planning policy guidance is clear that new housing development should not be at the expense of losing recreational open space”
But it still can be a struggle to save the land from development. NSALG’s Claire Willis says ‘People pay lip service to wanting green space – but with the building programme going on at the moment, it looks as though we wont stop until everything is concreted over’
From BBC News Magazine at Can You Dig It?
Previous articles on the Riverworks threat to local allotments:
Weekend on the Allotment
Tales From the Riverbank and Local Allotments
Allotments - Ten Reasons Why Preston City Council Should Not Build Over Them