National Allotment Week kicked off yesterday, celebrating the hard work that volunteers, councils and organisations put in on all of the sites across the country. To mark the week, allotment groups are opening their gates and holding barbecues, plant and produce sales, allotment tours, competitions and exhibitions, coffee mornings and afternoon teas – many of them raising funds to support local charities.
Allotments are a fantastic way to #GetOutside and enjoy some fresh air, meet new people, and grow your own fruit and vegetables. The National Allotment Society say that 30 minutes of gardening on your allotment can burn around 150 calories, the same as doing low impact aerobics. Plus, allotments provide essential habitats for wildlife. Just 1 square metre of land can support hundreds of different species.
Did you know?
In our OS Open Greenspace map covering Great Britain, there are 12,107 allotments and community growing spaces, measuring up 135 km2 of land. That breaks down into:
- England – 11,207
- Scotland – 268
- Wales – 632
Looking at a number of cities around the country, we found that Leeds (147), Birmingham (123) and Bristol (114) topped the allotment league table. At the opposite end of the scale came Aberdeen (22) Southampton (26), Cardiff and Cambridge (27 each). Do you live in those cities, have you noted an abundance or dearth of allotments?
Looking into London, there are 763 allotments and community growing spaces across the Greater London Authority, but numbers vary widely between the London Boroughs – from just 1 in the City of Westminster to 61 in Ealing.
Find your nearest allotment
You can use our OS Open Greenspace map to find the nearest allotment or community growing space to you, visit OS Maps. Allotments are marked in a beige colour on the map.
If you find a space near you, contact the allotment management to find out if they have a space available, or add your name to the waiting list. As the National Allotment Society says, aspiring plot-holders shouldn’t be put off by the thought of a long wait – sign up for a plot now; without waiting lists allotment authorities cannot assess demand.
OS Open Greenspace map
Our OS Open Greenspace map launched last month and is available for download via our OS OpenData portal, or to be viewed in OS Maps. It’s part of a Government initiative to make it easier for people to locate and access greenspaces and maps every publicly accessible recreational and leisure greenspace in Great Britain. This includes every public park and garden, every play space, playing field, golf course, tennis court, bowling green, allotment and more.