Disparity detected in allotment demand

'Areas with high levels of deprivation tend to have lower demand,' says Hyndburn Council regeneration projects manager.

Marfleet: 'Allotmentality' garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
Marfleet: 'Allotmentality' garden at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

Allotments in more deprived areas are becoming more difficult to fill than those in affluent parts of the country, an allotment officer has said.

Hyndburn Council regeneration projects manager Ian Marfleet, who was exhibiting the "Allotmentality" garden sponsored by Creative Support at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, said: "I'm finding very big waiting lists for popular sites and some sites not popular at all.

"One or two sites have vacancies because they're not in popular areas. Areas with high levels of deprivation tend to have lower demand. In the more affluent areas, even though people have larger gardens, people tend to want to separate allotment growing from traditional growing so have a garden and an allotment and these areas are in high demand."

Marfleet said he is leafleting to create demand in areas of high levels of deprivation. He added that the council now has an allotment bond deposit policy in case tenants who are vacating leave rubbish on their plots.

"Unfortunately a lot of tenants leave plots in poor condition. Recycling is great on allotments but councils have to clear it." Window frames, baths, piles of tyres, gas cylinders and even caravans used as sheds get left and the £200-£300 clearance cost falls to the council, he said.

Scottish Allotment Gardens Society committee member Mark Thirgood said research shows there are not enough allotments in poor areas of Scotland. The new Community Empowerment Bill expects local authorities to build more in deprived areas, he added.

Thirgood said he believes there might be a link between charging a bond or deposit to people taking on an allotment and there being less demand in poorer areas.

National Allotment Society marketing manager Di Appleyard said: "We say people shouldn't take junk onto their allotment." She pointed out that there is no research on whether affluent areas' allotments are more in demand. Allotment waiting lists have peaked at around 150,000 in recent years.

- National Allotments Week runs from 10-16 August.

Allotment survey

An allotment survey carried out by the Association for Public Service Excellence closed on 31 July.

It covered allotment size, shape, cost, allocation, how they are managed (financially and physically) and what plans are in place for their future. The findings will be shared at a local authority briefing in August.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

This year's Saltex will be looking to build on the success of last year by packing in a multitude of exhibitors and sessions over the two days, Sally Drury reports.

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

It's now around one year since work started on Sheffield's groundbreaking "Grey to Green" scheme, one of the largest urban green infrastructure projects in the UK.

Tree lifting, moving  and planting

Tree lifting, moving and planting

Successful relocations can see even big trees flourish while costing less than buying new stock, says Sally Drury.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Contracts & Tenders

Sally Drury on professional gardening

Sally Drury

A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.