Get planting this National Allotments Week

Published: Monday 14th August 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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It’s National Allotments Week! We spoke to Diane Appleyard, Mentor, Marketing and PR Coordinator for the National Allotment Society, to find out more.

The concept of the allotment has been around for hundreds of years. They originally started out as people’s access to common land. Most of those we see nowadays have been around since the early twentieth century, as has the National Allotment Society.

“We support individuals and groups who manage allotments,” explains Diane. “This includes working with the government and local councils on all sorts of issues, such as the promoting, creation and protection of allotments.”

Allotments have a rich history and importance in this country, supporting people through hard times and war:

“Many were created after the 1908 Small Holdings and Allotments Act. It allowed people to grow their own food, which was vital during the Great Depression and both World Wars. In fact, allotments fed the nation during ration periods.”

Nowadays, as well as the possibility of being a money-saver, allotments are popular for a number of reasons.

“Having an allotment can be quite sociable. For me, because I work from home, visiting my allotment means that I can chat to the people working on the allotments around me,” Diane tells us.

“Others might be managed by a committee and act as community hubs. Across the country, these groups organise activities for members, open days, school visits and have plots for organisations like Mind, who run therapeutic horticulture classes.”

Furthermore, many allotment-holders get a great sense of achievement from growing their own fruit and vegetables, as Diane points out:

“There are a few different aspects to it, but many love to see a little seed grow into a full crop. You also know exactly what has been sprayed on it and can grow organically if that’s what you want.”

Renting an allotment can also be very beneficial for your health:

“It’s great exercise, especially for the older generation who might otherwise not get out much. You’re also likely to eat more vegetables if you’ve taken the time to nurture them,” Diane maintains.

And of course, allotments are a fantastic choice for young families: “It’s a perfect way to educate your kids about where food comes from. They’ll love helping you out too.”

East Riding Council has a number of allotments located in the region, although there is a waiting list for these sites. There are plots in Skirlaugh, Bridlington and Cottingham.

A small piece of land starts from just £25 per year for 100-199 square metres. A larger plot that is over 250 square metres will set you back just £48 per year.

You can apply to join the waiting list via the East Riding Council website.

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Published: Monday 14th August 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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