This week we celebrate National Allotment Week and with an estimated 330,000 plots across the UK, we wanted to take a look at why these little parcels of land are so popular in the UK.
Although the idea of an allotment is said to date back to Anglo-Saxon times, the use of allotments as we recognise them really starts in the Nineteenth Century, with land being made available for the labouring poor. Post World War One; land was then open for all to lease, including returning servicemen which allowed them to grow their own food. Typically measured in ‘rods’ equating to 25.29 sqm, waiting lists can see some gardeners on stand-by for up to 90 years!
Move forward to 2019; where most allotments have become a passionate hobby, giving green fingered types an excuse to get out in the fresh air. There is also the bonus of reaping what we sow, quite literally, as it’s estimated we yield 215,000 tons of fresh produce each year.
With allotment leases starting from a peppercorn rate and typically sitting between £25 - £50 a year, it’s easy to see why there are so many of us enjoying the benefits of access to a bit more outdoor space.
It’s well documented that our day to day lives are becoming more and more consumed with technology and the fact that mental well-being features as a top concern, this gives us even more reason to get outside. There is something quite refreshing with a hard days work, getting dirt under your fingernails and being able to stand back and look at what you have achieved.
There are numerous positives that come from working an allotment; meeting new people who share a common interest, physical exercise and being out in the fresh air, a sense of achievement and that feelgood feeling from eating something you have grown.
If you’re interested in finding out more about allotments then head over to The National Allotment Society at www.nsalg.org.uk or get in touch with your local council.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for some handy tips on planning your allotment and check out our entire series everyday during National Allotment Week!