Experts note decrease in allotment waiting list numbers

Allotment waiting lists are falling, according to the National Allotment Society (NAS) and allotment experts.

TV's Big Allotment Challenge judge Jim Buttress said: "I don't think waiting lists are what they were."

NAS mentor co-ordinator Di Appleyard pointed out that the Transition Town West Kirby allotment waiting list survey will not be published this year as scheduled.

Appleyard said she believes that allotment waiting lists, which hit the headlines when they exceeded 150,000 in 2009, have "settled down" and "reached a balance".

Some allotment officers are anecdotally reporting vacancies but some still have waiting lists, she added. Officers have "cleaned up" waiting lists, which has helped to bring them down.

The focus now is on other issues such as stopping allotments, particularly privately owned plots, being built on and working with planners and developers so that they do not see sites as a "hindrance", said Appleyard.

Leeds & District Allotment Gardeners Federation, which turned down a place at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to exhibit a VE Day commemorative Victory Allotment at Harrogate, has seen waiting lists fall from 100 to 10.

Federation member Margaret Lattimer, a plot holder for 30 years, said: "I think allotments' popularity has declined a little. They wax and wane."

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