A spot of gardening at your local allotment is still permitted during lockdown. Here are the easiest and most difficult places to bag yourself a vegetable patch
With lots of us making the move towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle, holding the key to an allotment is now almost as desirable as securing the key to your own home.
Eager to minimise our food miles and take on a fulfilling new hobby, there are huge waiting lists for allotment plots across the UK, with wannabe growers in London understandably facing the longest waits.
Plus, a visit to your vegetable patch counts as your daily form of outdoor exercise under UK-wide lockdown rules, as long as social distancing is observed.
Shed retailor Power Sheds sent freedom of information requests to councils across the UK and found that as of 2019, there are 90,000 people waiting for a space at one of the 300,000 council-run allotments across the UK.
The longest waiting list for a single allotment was at Bushy Park in Richmond-upon-Thames, southwest London, where you’ll have to join the queue behind 637 others.
The second-largest waiting list of 560 was St Anns & Westfield, also in London, with many homeowners in the space-starved capitol having small gardens or no outside space at all.
But while nine of the top 10 longest allotment lists are in London, the county with the longest average waiting list overall is actually Cumbria, where residents currently have to wait behind 180 aspiring growers before being allocated a plot.
It’s good news for residents in Scotland's Argyll and Bute and Roxburgh though, where according to the research, there are no waiting lists. The study also found that wait times in Wales tend to be shorter than in the rest of the UK, at nearly half the duration of those in England and a third of the length of those in Northern Ireland.
UK allotments with longest waiting lists
|County||Allotment name||Waiting list|
|London||St Anns & Westfield||560|
|London||Sixth Cross Road||399|
|London||Old Palace Lane||383|
|London||Newham – 1||322|
|London||Newham – 2||321|
Counties with longest waiting lists
|County||Country||Average waiting list|
|County Down||Northern Ireland||146|
|County Antrim||Northern Ireland||58|
Brandon Attack of Power Sheds said: “We have seen a trend with more and more urban gardeners wanting to get into growing fashionable foods such as chillies and sweet potatoes.
“With garden space at a premium, I guess this comes as no surprise that people are trying to find some additional space to grow their own fruit and vegetables.”
Main photo: Imran Khan Photography/Shutterstock
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