Dear Plot Holders,
I’ve attached a pdf of the three articles from the National Allotment Society magazine that I thought were of particular interest and relevance to us all.
I think it’s encouraging that the NSALG chairman’s lead article focuses on plot size and reiterates that our campaign for a change to the ‘half plots only’ policy of BHCC during the Strategy is being echoed on a wider stage. Indeed the brilliant and successful SAGS (Scottish Allotment & Garden Society) campaign to get a ‘traditional allotment size of 10 rods or 256m2 officially recognised in the CEB (Community Empowerment Bill), which we’ve featured on our facebook page, reiterates the importance of not letting this important right get eroded.
A traditional allotment size of 10 rods or 256m2 is the recommended size for a family of four to be sufficient in fruit and vegetables.
I wrote to the chair of SAGS during their campaign and was able to share our experiences in getting our council to reverse their former position on plot size, despite being told at the outset that this would never happen! It was great to be able to send SAGS a link to our Strategy and indeed send them details about the work that we undertook on the unforeseen consequences of unilaterally enforcing smaller plot sizes.
It was also encouraging to read the article entitled ‘How Does Your Garden Grow’ – looking at the various gardening methods/ styles that people utilise on their plots ie. Organic/ Permaculture/ Bio-dynamic/ Traditional etc. Again we seem to have pre-empted this by discussing this very subject at one of our Forum Meetings recently and I think there is definitely more to be done on this front – in educating our members/ site reps and the Allotment Office to these different styles and to have this reflected in our inspection processes. An untidy plot isn’t necessarily an under cultivated plot, even allowing weeds to colonise a bed as part of a rotation/ fallow system does not constitute neglect
Finally the article on ‘Growing Health’ is particularly relevant. I will write and introduce the BHAF to the Growing Health group. Given the importance of allotments and mental health I think we should strive to increase awareness as to the potential for allotments to be a part of every cities wellbeing strategy.
All the best