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the new victory garden Royal Horticultural Society Dissertation Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture ©2007 Sandra Spudić
the new victory garden
Royal Horticultural Society Dissertation
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture
Sandra Spudić

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

Table of Contents



Victory Gardens Revisited ______1

Section One

1.0 ‘Allotment’ or ‘Leisure Garden’ ______2

Section Two

2.0 A Brief Evolutionary History of Allotments and their Legislation ______4

  • 2.1 Allotment-holdings and Legislation from the 17 th to 19 th Century ______4

  • 2.2 Allotment Holdings and Legislation of the 20th Century ______5

  • 2.3 'Dig for Victory' - A National investment into Allotment Holdings ______7

  • 2.4 'Back-to-the-Land' - A post war Renaissance of Allotment Gardens ______10

  • 2.5 Allotment Numbers between the 19 th and 20 th Centuries ______11

Section Three

3.0 Modern Allotment Holdings + the Alternatives ______12

  • 3.1 Community Gardens ______13 Culpeper Community Garden, Case Study

  • 3.2 City Farms ______15 Vauxhall City Farm, Case Study

Section Four

4.0 Allotment holdings: an Expressi on of Sustainable Development ______17

  • 4.1 Understanding Sustainability + UK Policy on Sustainable Development ______17

  • 4.2 An initiative towards sustainability ______18


A New Victory Garden ______20

References ______21 List of Illustrations and References ______22


Appendix A: Allotments Legislation for the Period 1908 to 1950

Appendix B: Categories of Allotment Sites Appendix C: Rio Declaration

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden


The work of David Crouch, professor of Cultural Geography, Anglia University UK; Geography and Tourism, Univeristy of Karlstad, Sweden, was of tremendous help during the research of this dissertation. His dedication to allotment holding, and extolling the cultural value these vibrant places have was a continual inspiration. Thank you to Roberto Veri for his strategic ‘tweaking’ and commentary, Nuala A. Madden for her meticulous editing and questioning and Marijana Hinton for her continual support and reassurance.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

Victory Gardens Revisited

In 1941, the United Kingdom, in the thick of war, launched an intrepid campaign. The predecessor of this campaign was a product of The Great War, and was practiced throughout much of the Commonwealth and the United States to decrease the demands on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. The campaign, dubbed 'Dig for Victory', encouraged British subjects to put hand to spade as a means of fighting Nazi forces through self-sufficiency and the conscientious use of local food resources. In addition to aiding the war effort, The Victory Garden became the most renown civil "morale booster": gardeners were empowered by their contribution of labour and rewarded by the produce grown. The Ministry of Agriculture, in conjunction with the wartime Ministry of Information, created a number of slogans, posters and mascots to help spread and enforce the message of economic food use and local farming. As a result, allotment gardens saw re-popularisation, and agricultural opportunities were made of every available piece of vacant land. The campaign successfully prevented food shortages; it also educated a generation of British citizens in the benefits of self- sufficiency. The Victory Garden allotment transformed into a popular hobby, after wartime prudence and self-reliance was no longer of dire necessity. More than sixty years on, as we face several ecological crises, a re-examination of the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign is in order. The recent renewal of interest in community gardening, as well as the growth of the relatively new urban agricultural movement, could be of great benefit to modern urban society. With the backing of a powerful government initiative, the benefits of a widespread modern urban allotment campaign could be immeasurable. Such benefits could include a cleaner urban environment, greater ecological conscientiousness, therapeutic mental and physical exercise, greater social interaction and cooperation, low-cost rehabilitation programmes, and affordable children’s workshops. The Government should seek to exploit this popular past time and shape it into a national campaign for health and ecological sustainability. By encouraging local initiatives in communities that are open to an allotment programme, the prudence and collective knowledge of the allotment generations could greatly enrich the generations of tomorrow.

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The New Victory Garden

1.0 ‘Allotment’ or ‘Leisure Garden’

Allotment, a.k.a.: field garden, cottage garden, garden ground, potato, small-holding, leisure garden, pleasure garden, guinea garden

In 1964, allotments were brought under scrutiny. The Wilson government, in response to increased pressure on urban land and rising market prices, established the short-lived Ministry of Land and Natural Resources. One of its first projects was to commission a Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Allotments. The objectives of the committee were to review the general policy on allotments in light of conditions in England and Wales and to recommend what changes (i.e. legislative or otherwise) were necessary (Crouch, Ward, 1997). The committee, chaired by the late Harry Thorpe, professor of geography at the University of Birmingham, reported in 1969; however, now to a different department. The report of the Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Allotments, more commonly referred to as the ‘Thorpe report’, outlined 44 recommendations that were based on two propositions. The first was that legislation up until that point was vague, outdated, confusing, and in dire need of revision by one new act (Crouch, Ward, 1997). The second questioned the suitability of the word ‘allotment’ as a signifier for modern allotment practice; it suggested that the term had a ‘stigma of charity’ about it, reminiscent of bygone rural oppression and warfare. Thorpe proposed that ‘allotments’ be replaced by the concept of ‘leisure gardens’, which included an improvement and upgrading of sites as recreational family facilities, similar to the examples admired by the committee in other European countries. The latter suggestion caused considerable upset and triggered debate. Traditional allotment holders, who viewed their plots as meaningful opportunities for cultivation, requiring dedication and hard work, objected to the whimsy the word ‘leisure’ implied. The new term articulated a shift in allotment gardening – from a vital manoeuvre to mere recreation. ‘Allotment’, however, remains the most common signifier, leaving the resolution of a new working definition to be considered. In The Allotment Movement in England, 1793-1873, Jeremy Burchardt provides two definitions for the term. The first simply states that allotments are “…small plots of land used for vegetable and soil production.” The second holds that allotments are “A plot of land, not attached to a house, in a field divided into similar plots, surrounded by a common external fence but without internal partitions”. In legal terms, an allotment is defined as “A plot not exceeding 40 poles (1000 square metres) in extent which is wholly or mainly cultivated by the occupier for the production of vegetables and fruit crops for consumption by himself and his family.” (Allotments Act (1922), Section


Of the three definitions, the first remains the most commonly used. It states, most simply, what the historical purpose of allotment holding has been: the right to individual land access for cultivation. In

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

essence, allotments continue to serve this purpose. However, where the definition falls short is its failure to incorporate contemporary allotment practice. Allotments have become dynamic horticultural centres. Healthy communities, as well as produce, are being cultivated. Allotments contribute to the beautification of neighbourhoods and create valuable urban green space. A new working definition should classify allotments as sites of vibrant community activity, designated for the purpose of agricultural cultivation and education, and which contribute to the overall beautification and ecological value of urban areas.

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2.0 A Brief Evolutionary History of Allotments and their Legislation

2.1 Allotment-holdings and Legislation from the 17 t h to 19 t h Centuries

Historically, the provision of allotments has always been somewhat contentious, inextricably linked to the struggle against poverty. Before the Norman invasion, land was viewed as a communal resource and managed accordingly: individuals were responsible for their own small plots, while popular crops were grown as a collective. This form of egalitarian land management (somewhat predictive of the communist ideal), worked reasonably well in providing enough food for the masses. However, the arrival of the Norman Empire put an end to this practice with the introduction of the feudal system. Land was appropriated by noblemen, and those wishing to use it for agricultural purposes were allotted a smallholding at the discretion of the landlord. Farmers, or tenants, were taxed heavily to use the land, and they were required to hand over a percentage of their crops to their feudal lords. What followed was the establishment of deer parks-- large formal gardens, and financial opportunities in husbandry and fodder introduced a series of local Enclosure Acts that allowed noblemen to legally reclaim their rights to the land, to terminate tenancies with little compensation, and to render the tilling of common land illegal. Initial resistance to the process of enclosure was futile, but it gained strength as starvation and hunger infuriated the dispossessed. A protest group, known as the Diggers and led by the fervent Quaker Gerrard Winstanley, believed that the land should be equitably dispersed. In 1649, the group set up a colony on St George's Hill in Surrey to remonstrate against the enclosures. Despite their ardent efforts, the local landowner quickly put down their rebellion and destroyed their crops and lean-tos. Interestingly, these demonstrations resulted in the drafting of The Riot Act (1715) to prevent – and punish - further insurgence. This act empowered landowners, with the support of the army, to remove protestors from their land using force as necessary. Furthermore, The Black Acts (1723) outlined 50 new capital offences against anti-enclosure riots, making protest that much more perilous. Nevertheless, the protests continued as starvation proved a more immediate threat. As the enclosure situation escalated, cities ballooned with the influx of displaced tenants looking for work. As a result, resources in urban areas were strained. In areas where a strip of common land was available, it was possible for workers to cultivate the land in order to supplement their meagre wages. However, such an opportunity was temporary and at the mercy of local authorities. Many employers and landowners feared that by allowing the freedom of cultivation, employees would develop independence and become remiss in their job duties; thus, many of them doled out allotments grudgingly. An 1843 government report on allotments confirms this situation, stating that allotment provision "should not become an inducement to neglect his usual labour, and therefore the allotment should be of no greater extent that can be cultivated during the leisure moments of

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden 2.0 A Brief Evolutionary History of Allotments

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

the family" (Crouch, Ward, 1997). This passage also reveals the changing perception of poverty: it was no longer viewed as an inevitable condition of society, dealt out to the unfortunate, but a situation that could be improved through personal initiative. Even though land was grudgingly distributed, the legislation governing it was "landlord and tenant", which meant that final favour rested with the party of greater authority and implied a condition of servitude for the people tilling the soil. Until 1845, the only regulations concerning the provision of allotments were the Poor Laws. They ensured that where no common land was available, churchwardens had the authority to provide it. However, a legislative resolution was achieved: The General Enclosure Act (1845) was established, ending the practice of enclosure and making rudimentary allotment provision for the 'labouring poor' mandatory. Unfortunately, the act did not specify the size, extent, workability or proximity of the land to be allotted, nor did it limit the amount of rent that a landowner could charge. The introduction of The General Enclosure Act(1845) is regarded historically as the formal inception of the allotment movement and the age-old struggle over land. Despite its attempt to improve available land, the act was met with some disapproval. Local cooperative groups felt it would jeopardise their holdings and survival, while urban dwellers feared it would reduce the amount of recreational countryside. Debate about the act continued, and The Allotment Act (1887), later amended by the Act of 1890, was established, securing the compulsory provision of allotment holdings for the labouring poor.

2.2 Allotment Holdings and Legislation of the 20th Century

The debate over allotments continued well into the 20th century, causing political unrest over the responsibility and conditions of allotment provision. Up until the 1900s, allotments were controlled by wealthy landowners and designated for the labouring poor. There was little legislation concerning the qualitative or quantitative conditions of allotted holdings. However, the situation improved considerably with the passing of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act (1908) (refer to Appendix A). It repealed and consolidated previous legislation, establishing the framework for modern allotment legislation and shifted the responsibility of allotment provision to local authorities. It dictated that allotments had to be provided where such a need was expressed, and it empowered local authorities to purchase land where it could not be obtained through private agreement. However, the designation of allotments was still restricted to 'the labouring population' and remained so until

1919 when the Land Settlement Facilities Act opened up allotment holding to everyone, chiefly in an effort to assist servicemen returning home from WW I. Until 1947, allotments were governed as forms of small agricultural holdings. It wasn't until The Town and Country Planning Act (1947) that a distinction between the two was made. The act also eliminated the need for town planning authorities to consider allotment provision when preparing town planning schemes. The years between 1920 and 1950 saw the passing, and amendment of, three Allotment Acts: The Allotment Acts of 1922, 1925 and 1950. The first provided allotment tenants with some security of tenure, required authorities to appoint allotment committees, and provided

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The New Victory Garden

tenants with greater compensation at the termination of their tenancy. The second was intended to facilitate the acquisition and maintenance of allotments, and to make further security of tenure for allotment tenants. The 1950 Allotment Act increased both the compensation given to tenants upon the termination of their tenancies, as well as the financial disbursement of allotments by local authorities. Furthermore, it changed the provision requirements of 1908, stating that allotments were only obligatory for populations over 10, 000 people; it reduced the statutory plot-size from 40 to 20 rods (500 square metres); and it stated that tenants should be charged a reasonable rent, relative to the quality of the plot. Since then, no further allotment legislation has been passed. However, repeals and amendments have been made indirectly through ensuing acts concerning the use and acquisition of land. Current legislation concerning allotments is extremely confusing. It exists as a patchwork of laws, comprised of amendments made over the past century. In The Law of Allotments, J.F. Garner writes, "Within the law of contract, allotments law is a specialised branch of Landlord and Tenant, and a branch which is the product of statute. Unfortunately, the relevant statutes are many and of considerable age; the recommendations of the Thorpe Committee that 'all existing allotments legislation should be repealed and replaced by a single new Act' has not yet been implemented" (Andrews, 2005). This leaves room for broad interpretation and tremendous ambiguity when applying the law. In 1998, the former Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions created the Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs. It commissioned the committee to produce a report that analysed the future of allotments. The Select Committee Report: The Future of Allotments (1998) outlined 29 conclusions and recommendations. It emphasised the importance of immediate government action with regards to the protection of allotment sites, and it urged an overhaul of allotment legislation. The government failed to act on many of these suggestions, and only two were developed into effective policies. The first requires that before a council can sell off a site, it must be able to show that it effectively promoted it among its constituents. The second suggested that the government produce a set of best practice guidelines on allotment use for local authorities. The latter of the two suggestions has developed into a successful management strategy. 'Best Value Plans' and 'Core Values' are national initiatives that ensure a community's best interests are considered before any decisions regarding allotments are finalised. Further advice and guidance are offered to both councils and the public by the Best Practice Guidelines (2001) and by government policy papers published in the form of Planning Policy Statements. Despite these efforts the government has yet to produce a single, intelligible legislative allotment policy – one that would encapsulate the working definition of contemporary allotment practice, preserve its historical value, and promote its environmental and social benefits. Government failure to act on the recommendations made by the committees it commissioned shows political disinterest and a lack of appreciation for the benefits this popular activity offers. Perhaps present-day politicians

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The New Victory Garden

should look to the past for inspiration, when the implementation of a national allotment scheme saved the British population from starvation and brought victory over her oppressors.

2.3 'Dig for Victory' - A National investment into Allotment Holdings

The concept of ‘Victory Gardens’ emerged during WWI, when civilians were encouraged to grow their own vegetables, fruits and herbs, in order to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. These gardens also supplemented the food rations put in place by the Food Department in 1918. Supplies were allocated according to the size of the family, and official figures show that once rationing was in place the intake of calories was close to that of pre-war levels. It was this experience that aided the British government in preparing similar food supply tactics in preparation for WWII. Once the threat of war was over and international trade was possible without the threat of enemy attacks, Britain gradually returned to its dependence on imported food products. In fact, during the period leading up to the Second World War, more than half of the total meat supply was imported, as well as 70% of cheeses and sugar, nearly 80% of fruit, and approximately 90% of cereals and fats. Only potatoes and milk were produced nationally (Davies, 1993). The possibility of a Second World War meant either a drastic reduction, or a complete end to these foreign comforts. Fortunately, the food defence plan tactics employed during the First World War, meant the British government was ready to deal with a drop in foreign food supplies and capable of providing adequate nutrition to the nation. In 1940, the government established the Food Defence Plans Department, which operated locally as two separate bodies: the Local Food Control Committee and the War Agricultural Committee. These committees were set up with the objective of increasing local food production, and were empowered by the Cultivation of Lands Order 1939. They initiated a massive ploughing campaign to encourage the cultivation of pastures, particularly for the production of bulky crops such as potatoes, grains and corn. The War Agricultural committee offered the incentive of £2 an acre to farmers who ploughed fields that had been left fallow for several years, granted they completed it by the end of December 1939 (Davies, 1993). At the domestic level, the Ministry of Agriculture formed a committee consisting of officials from the ministry, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the Horticultural Education Association, the National Allotment Association, and various research

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden should look to the past for inspiration,
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden should look to the past for inspiration,
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden should look to the past for inspiration,

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

institutes. The aim of the committee was to create a campaign that would both inspire and educate the public, encouraging them to grow their own produce – not only to supplement their rations, but to reduce the need for foreign import. The campaign's first step was to publish an educational bulletin, 'Food from the Garden'; however, its title was deemed too dull, so the group contacted the Ministry of Information who suggested calling it 'Grow More Food'. By this time, various media were aware of the campaign, and they dubbed it 'Dig for Victory', which was adopted by the committee and used as the campaign slogan. Posters, bulletins, pamphlets and films issued by the ministry now carried this motto, imprinting it on the minds of the nation. The iconic image of the foot on the spade was designed by F.G. Stevens and became the official logo of the campaign, accompanying the slogan on all of the literature produced by the ministry. Wartime propaganda was produced in order to ensure that the message reached everyone. Cinemas were used to screen 'Weekly Food Flashes', to announce ration changes, or to promote seasonal produce before showing features films. The BBC broadcasted 'In Your Garden', 'Kitchen Front Talks', and 'The Radio Doctor Says' - programmes that provided people with practical tips on growing and using produce. Newspapers printed 'Food Facts', updates about food prices, ration booklet details, and vegetable recipes. Uncertain about the population's ability to produce worthwhile crops, the government committee sought to develop a comprehensive horticultural strategy that could assist all levels of gardeners, from the experienced to the novice. Simple, straightforward horticultural advice was printed on posters, published as leaflets or bulletins, and clarified through demonstrations and model allotments. Local horticultural advisors and park superintendents provided practical workshops and training to ensure that people had access to hands-on lessons on vegetable growing. The Ministry of Food, in conjunction with the RHS, published a series of guides and information booklets that taught people how to make the most of their rations and vegetables. Other notable horticulturists contributed to the

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden institutes. The aim of the committee was
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden institutes. The aim of the committee was

effort: in 1942 Constance Spry published Come into the Garden and Cook.

Eleanor Sinclair Rhode

wrote Gardens of Delight. Both books advised keen amateur gardeners about growing - and using -

a variety of vegetables.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden Cartoon characters like 'Potato Pete' and 'Doctor

Cartoon characters like 'Potato Pete' and 'Doctor Carrot' were developed to target children and to instil the need for self-sufficiency, as well as an appreciation of home-grown food. By providing simple explanations about their nutritional - and national - benefits, the cartoons were also used to help break the monotony of a vegetable diet. Children were also involved in the national growing campaign. Besides helping with family allotment holdings, many school children were sent to help the Women's Land Army with harvesting during the summer months. Children also learned about the importance of economic food use: mothers were expected to save vegetable peelings, as well as extend the supply of rationed food by using every bit available. Food was described as ammunition, and as such, not to be wasted. Potatoes were especially targeted in the campaign against waste, and culinary tips highlighted the nutritional benefits of leaving the skins on. In order to ensure that all families could produce their own vegetables, the government used every available piece of land for cultivation. This included prominent London sites such as Hyde Park and the grounds near the Tower of London. Recreational spaces, such as tennis courts, were dug for cultivation, as well. Private estates were also enlisted, turning formal rose gardens into onion beds. Even bombsites were seen as an agricultural opportunity. The need for rationing and home-grown produce continued until 1954. At this time, allotment holdings were considered invaluable and an ordinary part of life. The government continued with its campaign, encouraging its citizens and returning servicemen to produce crops locally.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden Cartoon characters like 'Potato Pete' and 'Doctor
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden Cartoon characters like 'Potato Pete' and 'Doctor
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden Cartoon characters like 'Potato Pete' and 'Doctor
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden Cartoon characters like 'Potato Pete' and 'Doctor

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

2.4 'Back-to-the-Land' - A post war Renaissance of Allotment Gardens

The enthusiasm for allotments waned in the late 1950s as consumerism took hold and people embraced post-war industrial wealth. Greater affluence, higher levels of employment and a wider availability of food supplies reduced the need for cheap food. Many plots - even entire sites - became under-used, neglected or abandoned (Clevely, 2006). Allotments were left with the stigma of war, depression and frugality - and as much as the ideal of self-sufficiency resounded with the wartime generation, some people chose to link this ideal to consumerism, interpreting self-sufficiency as the ability to purchase whatever they required whenever they desired. Another factor in the decline of allotment holding was time: many families became dual income earners, and with both parents working, there was little opportunity to tend to an allotment. A brief revival occurred in 1969 and coincided with the release of the Thorpe Report, which suggested that allotment gardening needed a new image in order to capture public interest. The report argued that a more designer-style approach to allotment site development was necessary to replace the "monotonous grid of rectangular plots" which had become "neglected eyesores". Thorpe asserted that a site should be 'subjected to a programme of landscaping and improvement under the guidance of a landscape architect with the dual objective of making the appearance of the site from beyond its perimeter as pleasing as possible, while increasing the attractiveness of the interior of the site for the benefit of the plot-holders, both existing and prospective' (Crouch, 1997). He also contended that the emphasis of allotments should be on "family, beauty, community, amenity, respectability, productivity, grow-to-show, grow-for-fun, and grow-for-leisure" (Hyde, 1998). The resurgence in allotments that corresponded with the release of the Thorpe report was partly due to the disillusionment with consumerism. Allotments became a symbol of simplicity and they embodied a rural ideal. The new reasons for wanting an allotment were far from the need for survival: they had more to do with a quality of life, a source of recreation that offered physical and mental health benefits, as well as a bit of 'free veg'. They were a way to escape from the demands and stress of a highly-organised, structured society. Environmental concerns were also beginning to emerge as industrial agricultural methods were viewed as invasive and short-sighted. Issues relating to chemical residues, soil erosion, deforestation, limited plant variety, and excessive packaging and transport costs were attracting a new breed of allotment gardeners – a group of ideological plot-holders that yearned for some degree of self- sufficiency in an environmentally-conscious world. The continued interest and popularity in allotment

holding during the 21 st century follows from this environmental mindset.

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The New Victory Garden

2.5 Allotment Numbers between the 19 t h and 20 t h Centuries Allotment holding has remained a vital necessity for individual land access and cultivation throughout the centuries. Record numbers of allotment holders, however, were recorded during WWII, as illustrated in the side table. This can be attributed to the grave war threat felt by much of the population, as well as the enormous effort put forth by the government in the 'Dig for Victory' campaign. Growing produce was tantamount to national vigilance, and ultimately, victory. Food was considered to be ”ammunition of war", as home-grown produce reduced the need for foreign imports and freed up cargo space for artillery. When victory was achieved, and the threat of war disappeared, the urgency with which allotment cultivation was practiced gradually declined. People returned to their old habits of food shopping and rejoiced in the comforts of affordable foreign foods. In Reinventing Allotments for the Twenty-First Century: The U.K. Experience David Crouch, professor of Cultural Geography at Anglia University, cites from the English Allotment Survey (1997) that of the


Number of Plots

  • 1873 244, 268

  • 1890 448, 586

  • 1914 674, 000

  • 1918 1, 500, 000

  • 1928 1, 024, 000

  • 1930 965, 000

  • 1934 936, 000

  • 1939 814, 917

  • 1943 1, 399, 935

  • 1948 1, 117, 308

  • 1950 1, 100, 000

  • 1955 1, 000, 000

  • 1960 860, 000

  • 1965 650, 000

  • 1967 600, 000

296, 000 allotment plots in the United Kingdom, 50, 000 are vacant, unused or uncultivated. He then compares this to a waiting list of potential allotment holders of 13, 000. Crouch attributes the discrepancy in numbers to the indifference by local authorities in advertising and promoting allotments, real estate speculation driving up land value for development, poor site management and vandalism – issues that could be resolved by local councils encouraged by a national incentive to provide comprehensive, accessible information and improved allotment management.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

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3.0 Modern Allotment Holdings + the Alternatives

Present-day allotment sites have become dynamic hubs of horticultural interaction. Besides the usual rows of vegetable crops and fruits, meadows, ponds and forest gardens have emerged, which provide valuable habitats for beneficial insects, song birds and small mammals. In a normally barren city environment, such places can go a long way to improve the diversity and quantity of urban wildlife. They also provide valuable educational opportunities for local schools and community groups, demonstrating how inviting ‘nature’ into a garden is mutually beneficial. Gardeners get the added assistance with pollination and pest control while wildlife is provided with places for nesting and foraging. Allotment sites that incorporate such a range of habitats are important because they contribute to the overall ecological richness of an area,‘green’cities and provide food for its residents. Allotment sites have also begun to conform to a more stylised ideal. Although the rustic charm of make-shift sheds, abandoned bedsteads and muddy paths are appreciated by some allotment holders as quaint reminders of a bygone allotment era, there is a growing desire to develop a tidier, slicker look for allotment sites. This vision is based on a European model, where allotments sites are precisely designed – from the number of parking spaces to the types of sheds. The benefits of such restructuring can be evaluated according to the increased number of users it can attract and support. Improved roads and paths allow for better access for vehicles and wheel chairs; strategic lighting improves security and reduces the likelihood of vandalism; and the provision of raised beds accommodates less-able gardeners. An example of this is the allotments of Sandwell Borough where certain sites have been equipped with raised beds and improved paths in order to accommodate special user groups, which may other wise go unrepresented. The construction of a communal building and the supply of standard site tool sheds have also become increasingly popular site amenities adopted from the European model. As allotments become increasingly more social places – where site members participate in barbecues, plant fairs and seed collections – local councils have found the provision of a communal building a worthwhile necessity. They encourage greater community interaction, and in doing so, have increased their appeal to young families and internationals seeking to settle into a new country. The supply of standard site tool sheds may appear institutional to traditional English allotment holders, but it has the added benefit of being egalitarian, easily transferable from one holder to another and built to a municipal standard. This appeals to those with a low income who are interested in allotment holding, but are concerned about the possible start-up costs; it also appeals to a younger generation, accustomed to uniform and simple design. The modern allotment now exists in a more diverse and stimulating cultural context, although still firmly rooted in its tradition of individual land access and cultivation. The old utilitarian image of

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden 3.0 Modern Allotment Holdings + the Alternatives

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

allotment sites has changed as plots are seen to be important community facilities, as well as crucial habitats in the process of ‘greening’ our cities (Clevely, 2006). Alongside conventional allotment holdings have surfaced new forms of urban agriculture. Community gardens and city farms are contemporary alternatives to allotment holdings. They offer many of the same benefits associated with traditional allotments but with greater convenience. They allow people to participate and learn about cultivation, but do not demand the time and responsibility of an ordinary 10-rod allotment.

3.1 Community Gardens

Community gardens first gained popularity in the United States. Managed as a co-operative, community gardens are a democratic organisation in which members share both the maintenance and rewards. Most of the sites used for the gardens are abandoned city lots. Through diligent canvassing and government lobbying, local community groups are able to obtain use of these derelict sites for cultivation purposes. Although it can prove to be a difficult battle for community groups, especially when competing with developers, the approval rate for such projects by local councils has been increasing. The increase can be attributed to the realisation of benefits offered by such projects. Community gardens are a catalyst for building meaningful environmental relationships and are increasingly being regarded by the government as an important part of a community’s development and urban regeneration. (Crouch, 2003) In the United Kingdom, community gardens are a relatively new development and based on the American model. Like allotments, they are most often situated on land owned by local councils or governing agencies. However, they do not have the legal framework of allotments, thus lack the relative legislative security for stability. At present, in the United Kingdom, there are over 300 community gardens registered with the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG). The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens identifies these sites as having the following characteristics:

They all grow food crops and/or other plants, but do not keep farm animals

They are managed by their local community or community of interest

They have often been developed on derelict or disused land

They provide educational and volunteering opportunities.

‘Community gardens are found in a variety of different settings, including public parks, school grounds, allotment sites, disused wasteland, hospitals and other therapeutic establishments, residential settings and of course, city farms.’


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The New Victory Garden

Culpeper Community Garden, Case Study

Culpeper Community Garden in Islington, North London, is an example of a successful community garden. It serves as both a city park and an environmental community project. It was first initiated in 1982, when two local schools approached the Islington council with the request to use a derelict site for the creation of a small temporary garden. The project grew in popularity and gradually drew in the participation of local residents. Over time, it has developed into a public garden, and is now a registered charity, managed organically in a communal effort by and for local community members. Culpeper contains 50 allotment plots, including two raised beds, which are available for use by community groups, children and local residents without a garden of their own. Incorporated into the garden are ornamental beds, a lawn, seating, pergolas and a host of wildlife areas boasting native plant species. The site is tended by garden members and volunteers, and hosts a variety of community and social events, including annual spring and autumn plant sales, a pensioners’ strawberry tea, open days, summer arts projects, Hallowe’en and Christmas parties, and barbecues.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden Culpeper Community Garden, Case Study Culpeper Community

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

3.2 City Farms

City Farms are quite similar to community gardens in terms of their management and objective, the fundamental difference between them being the presence of livestock. City farms serve a valuable role in the community by providing an opportunity for agricultural education, as well as saleable crops. At present in the United Kingdom there are 59 registered city farms. The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens identifies these sites as having the following characteristics:

They keep livestock.

They are managed by their local community.

They are open to the public and provide educational and volunteering opportunities.

As with a community garden, the initiation of such a project is based on community initiative; success is determined by the dedication of its members.

Vauxhall City Farm, Case Study

Established in 1977, Vauxhall City Farm in Vauxhall is a free-of-charge urban farm

located in the heart of London.

It is a charitable organisation housing a variety of

animals, from horses and sheep to chickens and guinea pigs. There are three full- time qualified staff members on site throughout the week, and an extensive network of volunteers to assist with the regular chores of the farm. The long-term strategic planning of the farm and budgetary responsibilities are looked after by a management committee consisting of a number of unpaid trustees and co-opted members. Vauxhall City Farm’s objective is to promote social welfare and environmental awareness. It provides educational, recreational and training opportunities for local youth and residents, with a particular focus on disadvantaged children, teenagers, the elderly and those with special

needs. It is for city residents wanting the sounds and smells of the countryside, local people wanting to learn more about animals, and just about anyone that would like to escape the rush of the city.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden 3.2 City Farms City Farms are quite

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

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In certain instances, community gardens and city farms are being exploited for their commercial sale and productivity. A recent issue of the Telegraph Magazine was entirely devoted to exploring the agricultural projects of 23 of the UK’s renowned chefs. Many of them source their food from local farms, or help support local community farms by purchasing produce. But most of these culinary

masters tend to have kitchen gardens of their own, as well. This lends itself well to gastronomic creativity, as menus can be customised according to seasonal crops, which include ‘exotic’ vegetables that incur naught carbon miles.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden In certain instances, community gardens and city
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden In certain instances, community gardens and city
Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden In certain instances, community gardens and city

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

4.0 Allotment holdings: An Expression of Sustainable Development

4.1 Understanding Sustainability and UK Policy on Sustainable Development

Sustainability has been a favourite buzzword among environmentalists, politicians and economists since it first came into mainstream culture during the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The term is defined with respect to the amount of resources required to support the needs of present-day society, while allowing for the development and needs of future generations. Objectives to achieve sustainable development were outlined at the summit and compiled into a document entitled

Agenda 21 (i.e. an agenda for the 21 st century). The document consists of 40 chapters grouped into four different sections, and it addresses issues ranging from economics and development to poverty and human health conditions (See Appendix C). Agenda 21 is not a legal agreement, but rather a moral one. Upon the release of the document in 1992, 179 governments voted to adopt the principles of the agenda into their national policies. Implementation of these principles at the international, national, regional and local levels are referred to as Local Agenda 21. The United Kingdom pledged formal commitment to the Agenda at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. It has since developed a national strategy to manage the implementation of sustainable policies. The strategies are contained in one report, Securing the Future: Delivering UK Sustainable Development Strategy, and administered by a committee, chaired by Defra (Department of Food and Rural Affairs). To assist in the implementation of sustainable policy, the British Government established a set of five principles:

Living Within Environmental Limits

Respecting the limits of the planet’s environment, resources and biodiversity to improve our environment and ensure that the natural resources needed for life are unimpaired and remain so for future generations.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden 4.0 Allotment holdings: An Expression of Sustainable

Ensuring a Strong, Healthy and Just Society

Meeting the diverse needs of all people in existing and future communities, promoting personal well-being, social cohesion and inclusion, and creating equal opportunity for all.

Achieving a Sustainable Economy Building a strong, stable and sustainable economy that provides prosperity and opportunities
Achieving a
Building a strong, stable
and sustainable
economy that provides
prosperity and
opportunities for all, and
in which environmental
and social costs fall on
those who impose them
(i.e. polluters pay), and
efficient resource use is

Using Sound Science


Promoting Good



Ensuring policy is developed and implemented on the basis of strong scientific evidence, whilst taking into account scientific uncertainty (through the Precautionary Principle), as well as public attitudes and values.

Actively promoting effective, participative systems of governance in all levels of society- engaging people’s creativity, energy and diversity.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

For a policy to be sustainable, it must meet all five principles. In conjunction with these principles, the British Government has identified four priority areas requiring immediate action by all levels of government. These areas are:

Sustainable Consumption and Production Climate Change and Energy Natural Resource Protection and Environmental Enhancement Sustainable Communities

The British Government recognises that a change in attitude and behaviour is required by both politicians and constituents in order to endorse these priorities meaningfully.

4.2 An initiative towards sustainability

All four of the priority areas outlined above are addressed in allotment holding. Sustainable consumption and production are practiced by plot holders on an annual basis. Organic matter is gathered off of the site and composted, and seeds are harvested and exchanged. Crops are sown, harvested, consumed and distributed amongst fami ly and friends, or preserved for consumption during winter months. It was recorded that during the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign a 10-rod plot, when used efficiently and following seasonal crop rotation, could produce enough fresh vegetables for eight months of the year. The consumption of locally-grown food also supplements the need for purchased food products. Plot holders thereby reduce their ‘ecological footprint’ by avoiding the high ‘carbon miles’ associated with imported produce. An ‘ecological footprint’ is a measure of the amount of land and water area a human population would theoretically need to provide the resources required to support itself and to absorb its wastes, given prevailing technology. A carbon mile, or food mile, represents the distance that a food product travels from producer to consumer. The idea is that by minimising the distance between the two there is less transportation and therefore less carbon dioxide pollution released into the environment. As carbon dioxide is a notorious greenhouse gas contributing to the problem of global warming, any reduction of its volume in the atmosphere should be deemed noteworthy. In this manner, diligent allotment holders are doing their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, allotment food minimises the energy consumption normally associated with the harvesting, packing and storage of food. Produce can be harvested on an as-required basis, eliminating the need for elaborate refrigeration and packing systems. Allotment sites also contribute to environmental enhancement. They provide valuable green space in typically barren urban surroundings that serve a variety of functions, principally cultural recreation, wildlife habitat, and city beautification. By offering opportunities for recreation, reflection, and relaxation, parks improve community health and increase property values. The habitat they

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture The New Victory Garden For a policy to be sustainable, it

Sandra Spudic, January 2007©


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The New Victory Garden

create supports numerous species of animals and plants, improving the overall ecology of the city. Furthermore, urban green spaces have also been shown to cool city air through transpiration and evaporation. The foliage of plants also assists in cleaning the air by reducing the amount of airborne dust and pollutants. Green spaces, especially those like allotments paving is minimal, also reduce the amount of storm water run-off. As they mainly consist of pervious surfaces that are capable of absorbing and percolating rainfall. Allotments also encourage sustainable communities. They support and meet the diverse needs of people in existing and future neighbourhoods. The Uplands Allotment site in Birmingham for instance, prides itself on the diverse nationalities of its members, and the variety of gardening styles and atypical produce it supports. The value of such multicultural interaction is that it promotes cultural cohesion, inclusion and awareness. Allotments also provide a valuable meeting space and educational opportunity for disadvantaged inner-city residents. By introducing an agricultural mentality which values hard work, dedication and co-operation, urban allotment sites or community gardens, are imparting a meaningful experience upon those that rarely seem to find a positive opportunity in their community. The access to fresh, cheap produce is an added bonus and incentive to participate in such projects. From the above examples it is apparent that allotments embody all four of the priority areas highlighted by the United Kingdom’s Government. These areas are important as they represent the qualities of a sustainable society. Action by all levels of government is now required. The changes in attitude and behaviour required have already begun to take place. People are waking up to the ecological reality of the planet and prepared to take action in improving its fate.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

The New Victory Garden

A New Victory Garden

Allotments remain firmly rooted in the tradition of individual land access. Over the past 30 years they have flourished into vibrant community projects that have revealed their additional social, economic and environmental benefits. Unfortunately, many local councils have not explored the advantages of this sustainable initiative. Developmental pressure for urban land and legal ambiguity regarding allotments exacerbates the languishing status of allotments. However, the current rise in popularity of urban agriculture suggests that the present time is ideal for the launch of an innovative national allotment scheme to succeed the ‘Dig for Victory Campaign’.

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The New Victory Garden


Andrews, S 2005, The Allotment Handbook: A guide to promoting and protecting your site, 2 nd edn, Eco-logic books, Bristol.

Burchardt, J 2002, The Allotment Movement in England, 1793-1873, The Boydell Press, Suffolk.

Calkin, J (2006) Dig in, inside the secret gardens of our culinary elite, Telegraph Magazine 12, Aug: 9-47

Clevely, A 2006, ‘Introduction’, The Allotment Book, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, London.

Crouch, D & Ward, C 1997, The Allotment: Its Landscape and Culture, Five Leaves Publications, Nottingham.

Crouch, D 2000, Reinventing Allotments for the Twenty-first Century: The UK Experience, Acta Hort. 523, ISHS.

Crouch, D 2003, The Art of Allotments: Culture and Cultivation, Five Leaves Publications, Nottingham.

Majeus, M, Culpeper Community Garden (pamphlet), October 29, 2006

Davies, J 1993, The Wartime Kitchen and Garden, BBC Books, London.

Dig for Victory 2006, DVD, Twofour Productions Ltd, Plymouth.

Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, What type of farm or garden are you interested in?


Hyde, M 1998, City Fields, Country Gardens: Allotment Essays, Five Leaves Publications, Nottingham.

Living Ethically, Food / Shopping Miles, http://www.livingethically.co.uk/Pages/Ecological/foodmiles.htm, December 16, 2006

Patten, M 1990, We’ll Eat Again: A collection of recipes from the war years selected by Marguerite Patten, Reed Consumer Books Limited, London.

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Allotments,


allotments/allotments/, December 16, 2006

Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Fifth Report, The Future for Allotments, http://www.parliament.the-stationery- office.co.uk/pa/cm199798/cmselect/cmenvtra/560/56006.htm, November 25, 2006

Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Fifth Report, APPENDIX II: MODERN ALLOTMENTS LEGISLATION http://www.parliament.the-stationery- office.co.uk/pa/cm199798/cmselect/cmenvtra/560/56016.htm, November 26, 2006

Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence, Memorandum by the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions (AL 23),


iii/560iii02.htm , November 30, 2006

Spartacus, British History: Rationing, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FWWrationing.htm, November 21, 2006

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The New Victory Garden

U.K. Government Sustainable Development, What is it, and how can I do it? Shared UK principles of sustainable development http://www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/what/principles.htm

U.N. Department of Social and Economic Affairs Division for Sustainable Development, Agenda 21 Table of Contents,


Uplands Allotments Association, Uplands Allotments is committed to Equal Opportunities ... http://www.btinternet.com/~richard.wiltshire/uplands1.htm, December 6, 2006.

Vauxhall City Garden, London, About, http://www.vauxhallcityfarm.org.uk/

Virginia Stormwater Management Program, Stormwater Management, http://www.state.va.us/dcr/sw/stormwat.htm, December 6, 2006.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Ecological Footprint http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_footprint

List of Illustrations and Figures

p 4. Woodcut depicting Gerrard Winstanley, The Law of Freedom Gerrard Winstanley & The Diggers and all that!, http://tash.gn.apc.org/winst1.htm, November 28, 2006.

p 7. ‘Dig for Victory’ Poster, (Davies, 1993, p 28) ‘Allotment Garden Guide’, Earthly Pursuits, Ministry of Agriculture Allotment and GardenGuides 1945, http://www.earthlypursuits.com/AllotGuide/AllotGuide.htm, November 23, 2006. Dig For Victory Leaflet No. 1 Grow for Winter as well as Summer’, Earthly Pursuits, Ministry of Agriculture Dig For Victory Leaflet No. 1,


November 23, 2006

p 8. Wartime Advice and Propaganda Publications collage, (Davies, 1993, p 51) ‘Food Facts’, (Davies, 1993, p 38)

p 9.

‘Potato Pete’, (Davies, 1993, p 142) ‘Doctor Carrot’, (Davies, 1993, p 145) ‘Wage War on Waste’, (Davies, 1993, p 161) ‘Use spades, not ships’, DIG! DIG! DIG! for Victory, http://www.homesweethomefront.co.uk/web_pages/hshf_dig_for_victory_pg.htm#top November 13, 2006 Cultivation of land image, (Patten, 1990, p 98)

p 11. Table of Alltoment Numbers, 1873 to 1967,



p 12.

Sandwell allotments image, (Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, 2006)

p 14.

Culpeper Community Site Plan, (Blackwood, E (illus), 2006, Culpeper Community Garden Pamphlet.

p 15.

Vauxhall City Garden, Vauxhall City Garden, About, http://www.vauxhallcityfarm.org.uk/

p 16. Photos of chefs and gardens, (Telegraph Magazine, p 11, 23,33) p 17. Principles of sustainability Diagram,

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The New Victory Garden


p 18. Crop Rotation Poster, (Davies, 1993, p 33)

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The New Victory Garden


Appendix A: Allotments Legislation for the Period 1908 to 1950

Appendix B: Categories of Allotment Sites

Appendix C: Rio Declaration

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix A

Allotments Legislation for the Period 1908 to 1950

Act and Date

Description and notes on most important Sections


Small Holdings

Repealed and consolidated previous legislation and established the framework for

and Allotments


the modern allotments system.


Act 1908


Section 23 provides that if allotment authorities 'are of the opinion that there is a

demand for allotments


the borough, district or parish the council shall provide a

sufficient number of allotments to persons


in the borough district or parish

and desiring the same'. In determining demand an authority must take into

consideration 'a representation in writing by any six registered parliamentary

electors or rate payers'.

Section 25 gives a local authority the power to compulsorily purchase land for

allotments if land cannot be acquired by private agreement.


Section 26 provides that an allotments authority 'may' make improvements to

allotment land such as drainage, paths and hut construction.


Section 32 deals with the 'Sale of superfluous or unsuitable land' and permits local

authorities to sell land if they are 'of opinion that any land

is not needed for the

purpose of allotments'. However, Section 8 of the Allotments Act 1925 (see below)

places restrictions on this process.


Section 47 deals with compensation for allotment holders who are required to

leave the site. These provisions were amended by the Allotments Act 1922.

Land Settlement

This Act was mainly to assist returning servicemen and opened up allotments to all,

Facilities Act

not just 'the labouring population'.




Made metropolitan borough councils allotment authorities for the first time.

Section 22 enables an allotment authority to appropriate for allotments any land

held for other purposes.

Allotments Act

This Act was established to provide allotment tenants with some security of tenure,


laying down specific periods of notice and compelling most allotment authorities to

appoint allotment committees, and provided tenants with greater compensation


at the termination of their tenancy.


Section 1 provides that an allotment garden tenancy may be determined by the

landlord by notice to quit only if a six months or longer notice is given. This provision

was amended by Section 1 of the Allotments Act 1950.


Section 2 provides for compensation on being forced to quit an allotment, based

on the value of the crops.

Section 16 required allotments authorities to exact a 'full fair rent' for allotments. This

provision was repealed by Section 10 of the Allotments Act 1950.


Section 22 defines 'allotment gardens' as 'an allotment not exceeding forty poles in

extent which is mainly cultivated by the occupier for the production of vegetables

and fruit crops for consumption by himself or his family'.


Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix A

Allotments Act

This Act was intended to facilitate the acquisition and maintenance of allotments,


and to make further provision for the security of tenure of tenants of allotments.

Section 3 specifies that when a local authority is preparing a town-planning


scheme, it must 'consider what provisions ought to be included therein for the

reservation of land for allotments.' This provision was repealed by the Town and

Country Planning Act 1947.


Section 8 specifies that land purchased or appropriated by local authorities for use

as allotments must not be disposed of without Ministerial consent. The Secretary of

State must be satisfied that 'adequate provision will be made for allotment holders

displaced by the action of the local authority, or that such provision is unnecessary

or not reasonably practicable'.


Section 12 provided that a local authority with a population of over 10,000 should

appoint an allotments committee which is responsible for all allotment matters with

the exception of financial issues. This provision was repealed by the Local


Government Act 1972.


Small Holdings

Made minor amendments to previous Acts but was mostly concerned with small

and Allotments



Act 1926


Repealed sections 1-22 of Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 which related to

small holdings.

Agricultural Land

Temporary measure passed at time of economic depression to assist the


(Utilisation) Act



Section 13 permitted the seizure of land for allotments and gave the Minister of

Agriculture authority to provide allotments for the unemployed. This provision

expired in 1939 under Section 19.


Town and

Made no specific reference to allotments but removed requirement made in 1925

Country Planning

Act for town planning authorities to consider allotment provision within town

Act 1947


planning schemes.

Allotments Act

Followed on from the Allotments Advisory Committee report of 1949. Made


provision for better compensation following termination of tenancies, and clarified


the systems for collecting rent.

Section 1 increases the period of notice to be supplied to allotment holders to 12

months and this must expire during the winter months.


Sections 2 to 6 deal with the compensation which should be payable to an


allotment holder according to the season his tenancy terminates. Also, allotment

holders who have allowed their plots to deteriorate through neglect are liable to

pay for compensation for dilapidations on quitting.


Section 9 confines local authorities' obligation to 'allotment gardens'- in effect,

making 'farm allotments' no longer statutory.


Section 10 amends the rent collection systems and allotments authorities may

charge such rent "


as a tenant may reasonably be expected to pay for the land".

This section also makes provision for the allotments authority to let land "


to a

person at a less rent, if the Council are satisfied that there exist special

Sandra Spudic, January 2007©

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix A


circumstances affecting the person which render it proper for them to let the land

at a less rent".

Section 12 allows certain forms of livestock (hens and rabbits) to be kept although

this is, in some cases, restricted by local bye-laws.

Note: Allotment authorities in England and Wales are the district councils and, in Wales, community

councils or, in England, London Boroughs and parish councils. County councils have very few

responsibilities with regard to allotments, particularly after the Local Government Act 1972.

Note: The Department now having supervisory powers over allotments authorities in England is the

Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. Formerly, allotments were the responsibility of

the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The functions were transferred by S.I. 1970, No. 1681.

The Scottish Office, the Welsh Office and the Northern Ireland Office have supervisory powers for the

other parts of the United Kingdom.

Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Fifth Report,

Appendix II: Modern

Allotments Legislation,


November 26, 2006.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix B

Categories of Allotment Sites

Staturoy Sites

These sites make up the bulk of allotment sites (74%). Owned by the local authority, and entirely

governed by allotments legislation, they have legal protection and cannot be sold unless it can be

demonstrated to the Secretary of State that a site is no longer needed for allotments, and would be

better used for alternative development. The Secretary of State, working through the Office of the

Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), tends to trust local council reports on dereliction and the reasons for

it, and agrees on sales based on their reports.

Temporary Sites

Rented by the local authority from a private owner for the purposes of allotments or owned by the

local authority but designed for some other use. This type of allotment site has also recently become

popular with local councils. They make up 13% of allotment provision. There are no statutory

protections for tenants on temporary allotments under the allotment acts. However, prospective

developers need planning permission first before building, and this can be denied, which also applies

to private sites.

Private Sites

These are neither owned nor leased by local authorities. Therefore they are not governed by any of

the allotments legislation. They cover about 8% of all allotment land (statistics from the David

Crouch/NSALG Allotments Survey 1997). It is also worth bearing in mind that there is no national

standard of allotment provision. Although councils have to provide allotments, the number of

allotments per head is not defined, and left up to the individual authorities.

Andrews, S 2005, The Allotment Handbook: A guide to promoting and protecting your site, 2 nd edn,

Eco-logic books, Bristol.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix C


(Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992)

Annex I


The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,

Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992,

Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment,

adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, a/ and seeking to build upon it,

With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new

levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people,

Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of

all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental


Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our


Proclaims that:

Principle 1

Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development.

They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.

Principle 2

States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international

law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and

developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or

control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of

national jurisdiction.

Principle 3

The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet

developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations.

Principle 4

In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection

shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be

considered in isolation from it.

Principle 5

All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of

eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable

development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and

better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.

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Appendix C

Principle 6

The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the

least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given

special priority. International actions in the field of environment and

development should also address the interests and needs of all countries.

Principle 7

States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve,

protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. In view

of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have

common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries

acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of

sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the

global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they


Principle 8

To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all

people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production

and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.

Principle 9

States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for

sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges

of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development,

adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and

innovative technologies.

Principle 10

Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all

concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each

individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the

environment that is held by public authorities, including information on

hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity

to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and

encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely

available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings,

including redress and remedy, shall be provided.

Principle 11

States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental

standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the

environmental and developmental context to which they apply. Standards applied

by some countries may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social

cost to other countries, in particular developing countries.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix C

Principle 12

States should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international

economic system that would lead to economic growth and sustainable development

in all countries, to better address the problems of environmental degradation.

Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means

of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on

international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges

outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided.

Environmental measures addressing transboundary or global environmental

problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus.

Principle 13

States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation

for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall also

cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further

international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of

environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control

to areas beyond their jurisdiction.

Principle 14

States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the

relocation and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that

cause severe environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human


Principle 15

In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be

widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are

threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty

shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent

environmental degradation.

Principle 16

National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of

environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account

the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of

pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting

international trade and investment.

Principle 17

Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be

undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant

adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent

national authority.

Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix C

Principle 18

States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters or

other emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on the

environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the international

community to help States so afflicted.

Principle 19

States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant

information to potentially affected States on activities that may have a

significant adverse transboundary environmental effect and shall consult with

those States at an early stage and in good faith.

Principle 20

Women have a vital role in environmental management and development.

Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable


Principle 21

The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be

mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable

development and ensure a better future for all.

Principle 22

Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have

a vital role in environmental management and development because of their

knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support

their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation

in the achievement of sustainable development.

Principle 23

The environment and natural resources of people under oppression,

domination and occupation shall be protected.

Principle 24

Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States

shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the

environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further

development, as necessary.

Principle 25

Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and


Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture

Appendix C

Principle 26

States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by

appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

Principle 27

States and people shall cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of

partnership in the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this Declaration

and in the further development of international law in the field of sustainable


* * * * *


Report of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment,

Stockholm, 5-16 June 1972 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.73.II.A.14

and corrigendum), chap. I

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