Copyright 2016 © Dean Row Allotment Society.
Its thought that they date back to the time of the Saxons but it’s a series of The Inclosure Acts passed by Parliament in the 1800′s that defined the allotments as they are known today. There is no standard size to a plot; though the average is around 10 poles, an old measuring unit phased out as part of the metrication process in mid 1960′s. Each site can vary from one site to another not only on plot sizing, but also pricing and even rules. With some sites permitting livestock, such as chickens or bees, to other sites not even allowing permanent buildings like sheds or greenhouses to be erected.
The 4 August 1914 saw Britain declare war on Germany and, although allotments had existed in the UK from the 18th century, the ensuing food shortages lead to the creation of the local authority allotments that we recognise today. Their numbers have waned considerably but 100 years later working an allotment plot remains a popular pastime.
Allotment popularity grew during the Great War, as rations towards the end were introduced the government took over land were possible when it felt necessary it to do so. One such suitable source for allotments were the grassy verges owned by railway companies and the reason you will often see allotments by railway lines today. Popularity of the allotment decreased until the Second World War, when the need for allotments was even greater, the famous ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign was launched and every possible piece of land was taken over, including public parks.
Again their demand began to decline, the rations ended, Britain was to become more self-
Contemporary allotments do more than provide food, the healthy lifestyle they encourage helps to combat several of the challenges facing 21 century populations – obesity, inactivity and mental health problems resulting from social isolation cost the UK economy billions of pound every year; £9 billion is spent dealing with adult depression alone and obesity costs the NHS £5 billion. Allotments and allotment services have the potential to support delivery of many local authority Public Health targets, not only around nutrition but around emotional resilience and exercise, especially for our ageing population.
This contribution that allotments make to the health and well-
This could mean dismantling thriving, socially cohesive allotment communities that, as recent research has shown, are situated on land that is high in bio-
Today allotments are very much sought-
The National Society welcomed the ministerial statement on the 6 March 2014 from Nick Boles who announced an update to the local planning guidelines, where he stressed the importance of bringing brownfield land into use and made clear that authorities do not have to allocate development sites on the basis of providing the maximum possible return for landowners and developers; the society hopes that this will mean a reduction in the number of allotments sites earmarked for development.
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-
Check out www.nsalg.org.uk for more details about collective action to protect our plots.
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