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Having An Allotment Is A Serious Business...

August 20th 2013
By: Melanie

Since 2008, more and more Britons are turning to growing their own, as the cost of food continues to rise.

In 2010 there were 350,000 people in the country with allotments and 100,000 people on waiting lists. However for the first time in three years the amount of people applying for an allotment has decreased by 15%.

Councils have stopped selling off allotments in recent years for housing development, and plot owners who want to keep their allotments have been forced to grow vegetables. Local councils state that 75% of a plot must be cultivated within two years of ownership, and that tenants must grow productive crops. The cost of owning a vegetable plot varies from anything between £30-£50 per year, up to £100 for some boroughs.

One plot holder, Michael Rock, 61, decided to grow fruit trees instead of vegetables and was ordered by the courts this year to pay £750 to his local council and give back his land if he didn't start growing vegetables. This could be seen to be extreme but with the desire for more of us to grow our own vegetables with limited plots available, growing our own has become a serious business in the UK.

After obtaining a vegetable plot it doesn't automatically mean that it will go to your next of kin upon bereavement, we contacted one of the local councils in our area, Uttlesford District Council, who stated that its their policy that when someone passes away that the plot is re-allocated to the person at the top of the waiting list.

'Allotment wars', are also rife in the UK, with rival growers carrying out dirty tricks such as ruining their neighbours crops to burning down greenhouses. Which is quite surprising to most of us who would probably imagine growing our own would be a relaxing pastime. The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners say that the conflict has risen from plot sizes being cut and people having to be closer together.

If this doesn't put you off and you would still like to apply for an allotment in your area, then follow this link to be put onto the waiting list