What is an Allotment?

An allotment is an area of land which is rented on a yearly basis to local residents and community groups. The purpose of an allotment is to grow your own food whether that is fruit, herbs or vegetables. Flowers can be grown but they are mostly for edible crops.

Some allotment sites also allow tenants to keep bees, chickens and other livestock. The overall size of an allotment plot also varies depends where you are in the country.

Plots are measured in rods, also called perches or poles. This is an old measurement which dates back to anglo-Saxon times. Plots are usually 10 rods which is the equivalent of 250 square metres.

Tenants rent plots on a yearly basis. Rents vary throughout the country, the average is £60 per year.

Sites are either owned by the local authority or from private landlords. Local authority sites are either classed as temporary sites or statutory sites. Statutory sites are protected by law.

Typical allotment at the start of a new tenancy | Photographer Sean James Cameron

To apply for an allotment contact your local authority who will have a list of local authority sites and private landlords. If you search the internet you will find local authority sites under their parks and leisure departments. Use the government website to find who deals with allotments for your postcode > https://www.gov.uk/apply-allotment

This plot holder is concentrating on cultivating one side of their plot this year before moving onto the other section next year | Photographer Sean James Cameron

When you start your new allotment concentrate on little chunks rather than trying to tackle the whole plot during the first weekend – “do a little, and do it often.”

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