It is National Allotment week. Although this sounds a little silly, the history behind it is anything but. We went and did a little bit of digging to find out just what started this annual tradition.
History Behind National Allotment Week
Allotments go back to Anglo-Saxon times, when land was primarily used by the poor, to ensure the constant provision of food in times when it was scarce. In 1908, the Small Holdings and Allotments Act came into power. This act placed the responsibility of providing sufficient allotments into the hands of the local authorities. It took until 1918; the end of the First World War, to really ensure land was made available to all. This was to help the returning service men, along with the poor.
In 1925, history was made when local authorities could not convert or sell allotments without ministerial consent. Despite the legislation to protect and provide allotments, they are still in demand. As very few allotment sites are being made each year. Figures by the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners LTD show that there are approximately 330,000 allotment plots in the UK, but we need at least another 90,000 to meet the demand.
Allotments do a lot more than simply provide food. As mentioned in our previous blog posts, the healthy lifestyle that gardening encourages helps to combat several problems our population is facing. Such as obesity, inactivity, mental health problems and the feeling of isolation. By gardening and working through these problems, instead of turning to the NHS, we save the UK economy approximately £14 billion a year. Maybe it is time to bring the victory gardens back!
Websites around the country are hosting competitions in celebration of National Allotment Week. These include, but are not inclusive to, blogging competition, plot competitions and many more. It is a week that the gardening community really get behind.
Allotments across the country will open their gates and allow the public to witness the benefits of growing their own vegetable. All in an attempt to encourage them to do it themselves. They will put on fun events and host open days including parties, barbeques, food markets and plenty of sales. Once you taste fresh vegetables, you will not want to go back to supermarket produce.
Inspired by National Allotment Week but don’t have time to tend to an allotment every other day. Why not start growing your produce in your garden? You will find loads of different inspirational information on our blog post. But let me tell you about two different items we sell that will be perfect for any allotment/back garden.
The ChunkyWood™ is our raised beds ideal for separating your allotment plot into sections and keeping all of your brassica’s off the ground and away from pesky slugs. Made from 45mm pressure treated timber, the ChunkyWood™ Raised Bed allows for attractive, orderly planning of your allotment. With a range of shapes and sizes, you can create an elaborate plot where you can grow and display your edibles.
The TruggyWug™ is the perfect place to nurture your plants or allow your children or grandchildren their own miniature plot if they’re regular visitors to the allotment with you. You can show them how to take care of plants by growing lettuce leaves or keeping herbs alive in the TruggyWug™.