Why have an allotment?
Why rent an allotment?
Allotment gardening can be a very rewarding pastime and can make a valuable contribution to the quality of peoples lives. Open space is becoming increasingly important within our communities as the intensity of development increases. Allotments are important recreational assets for people without gardens.
Cultivating an allotment provides an affordable source of fruit and vegetables, an essential part of a healthy diet. If they are organically grown, you will reduce your exposure to pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Working an allotment gives you plenty of fresh air and healthy exercise, and it is suitable for elderly and disabled people as well as the super-fit.
It's good for your peace of mind as well as your body. Horticulture has long been used as a therapy in both physical and mental illness and in rehabilitation. Doctors in some areas are even prescribing it as a treatment for stress and obesity. Allotments can help all kinds of people get a sense of achievement.
It can be a social activity too, bringing together people from all age groups and various social backgrounds around a common interest. It's the sort of activity that lends itself to co-operation and contact. Sites can help children, especially in urban areas, to learn about nature and how food is grown and to observe wildlife.
Allotments can benefit the environment in a number of ways. They provide valuable green space within our towns and cities making them more environmentally friendly, sustainable and attractive places to live. They can also provide a varied and valued habitat for wild plants and animals. Locally grown food does not have to be transported long distances, which all helps reduce pollution and road traffic.
You will benefit from:
- eating fresh and organic food grown by yourself
- regular exercise, as part of a healthy lifestyle
- meeting new friends and learning new skills
- improving mental health
- doing your bit for the environment by protecting an open green space
- reducing the congestion and pollution associated with the transportation of food
- the simple pleasure of seeing your plants grow
- the opportunity to save a fortune on your shopping bill
You may also qualify for a concession on the annual rent, if you are aged 60+, receiving a pension, registered disabled, chronically sick or unemployed. To find out more visit your local allotment site on a Sunday morning, when plot-holders will be around, ask to see an Association member. There may be a waiting list for plots at your chosen allotments but you can either ask for your name to be added to the list or apply for a plot on another site. When you are offered a plot you will be required to sign a simple tenancy agreement, which sets out your rights and responsibilities.