Nearly 90% of local authorities experienced increase in demand for allotments (APSE)
38% of local authorities now have waiting lists of 1,000 people or more (APSE)
National Allotments Week (9-14 August) to highlight benefits of growing your own produce
As National Allotments Week 2022 approaches, the value of the 18 allotment planters at Quintain Living’s Canada Gardens in London’s Wembley Park during their first full growing season is becoming truly apparent. The allotment garden has become a hub for residents of all ages to get together and connect with nature, to socialise over shared growing tips and to enjoy producing fresh, seasonal food for the whole family.
Taking place from 9 to 14 August, National Allotments Week 2022 is all about gardening with nature in mind, as well as raising awareness of the role of allotments in nurturing communities and supporting people to grow their own food, live healthier and more active lifestyles and connect with one another. Demand for allotments has soared since the pandemic. According to the State of the Market Report (Allotments) 2021 from the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE), nearly 90% of local authorities experienced increased demand for allotments as a result of Covid-19.
“Gardening and growing your own food can do so much to boost health and wellbeing – both physical and mental. This is why Quintain Living provides allotment beds at Canada Gardens. Our residents can get outside, connect with nature and enjoy the benefits of gardening – it’s particularly rewarding for those growing their own produce to eat. It’s a great way for residents to enjoy home-grown fruit and vegetables, whilst reducing their carbon footprint as well as to teach children where their food comes from.”Danielle Bayless, Chief Operating Officer, Quintain Living
Sadly, the availability of allotments lags far behind demand for them. According to APSE’s data, 51% of local authorities have between 100 and 400 people on their waiting list; 38% have waiting lists of over 1,000 people (up from 20% in 2020). Over 34% of local authorities report that people are waiting an average of over 18 months for an allotment plot to become available. In the London Borough of Brent, the Council reports that, “There are more than 20 sites run by us but due to high demand they currently all have a 1-2 year waiting list. Applications for new people to join a waiting list for an allotment site are currently closed.”
The figures throw into stark relief just what a privilege it is for Canada Gardens residents to have allotments beds available to use at their leisure.
“We are delighted that the allotments at Canada Gardens have proven to be such a valuable community feature. The entire development, with its acre of gardens, large roof terrace and on-site clubhouse is all about family and nature. The allotments are a core part of that.”Danielle Bayless, Chief Operating Officer, Quintain Living
In addition to the 18 planters, Canada Gardens, which is managed by Quintain Living – the award-winning management company overseeing the rental of more than 3,250 apartments in Wembley Park – has a storage shed for residents’ tools, pots and seeds as well as a greenhouse for use. The shed also contains useful planting and growing information, while residents have recently set up a WhatsApp group to do the same. The green-fingered community members also come together in person, with the most recent event organised by Quintain Living generating an excellent turnout. Residents enjoyed sharing their growing tips and hearing from the professionals about how to care for their crops.
As the weather warms up, the Canada Gardens allotment beds are flourishing. Residents are growing a wide range of fruit and vegetables, including beans, tomatoes, carrots, cabbages, strawberries and blackberries, while a small herb garden is also coming along nicely.For more information on Quintain Living or to book a viewing, visit www.quintainliving.com, @quintainliving on Instagram or call 020 3151 1927.