Britain's Allotment Culture: When Residents Demand Land, They Get It (Video)


Image credit: The Journey TV

From this awesome tour of a permaculture allotment, to residents battling to keep their gardens, Britain's 'allotment' culture has featured regularly on TreeHugger. And not without good reason. These small plots of land, rented from local government for an affordable fee, are visible in almost every town and city across the country, and they are often the only access to gardening that many inner-city residents have. I've just come across a wonderful video that shows why this matters, and sheds just a little light on the legal obligations of local councils to provide land. Whether or not it is law, or merely some kind of obligation, is not entirely clear—but this video explains that if 6 or more residents are looking for land to grow food, then the onus is on the local authority to provide it. And that's just what happened in Bristol, where a group of would-be allotmenteers worked with the council to rejuvenate an overgrown smallholding as a community resource. Plans include test beds for different styles of gardening—dig versus no-dig etc, as well as chickens, wildlife conservation and a whole host of other green activities.

As with many of the videos by The Journey TV—the guys who also brought us a tour of an infamous roundhouse, a massive hoard of recycled bikes, and an underused train station turned gardening hub—this was shot in Bristol, my old home town, so in the interests of transparency, I should note that it features friends and acquaintances, including the lovely Emma who walks us through allotmenting, and the group's plans for the site.

Tags: Activism | Cities | Local Food | Permaculture | United Kingdom