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Allotments Seminar: ‘Lockdowns and leeks’ – the growing importance of allotments

7 October 2020 10:00 – 13:00


Kindly sponsored by:


View the programme here


About the seminar

The strange times we now find ourselves in has led many to re-assess their lifestyles. From being very much a 24/7 consumer driven culture, many are now adopting a more reflective approach where personal mental and physical well-being is becoming more important than material wealth.

Part of that reassessment involves our long overdue reconnection with the natural world. During the current pandemic, our local greenspaces have become sanctuaries for many when other leisure pursuits have been closed to us.

Gardening and growing our own food, has increased in popularity as the restrictions of lock-down have taken their toll. Nowhere has this been more apparent in the huge increase in the demand for allotments.

Figures released by the National Allotment Society (NAS) revealed that of the councils which responded to a recent survey, over 40% reported a “significant uplift” in applications to join waiting lists, with a 300% increase in one case

This increase in demand is set against a 65% decline in the total area of allotment land available caused by the growing demand for new housing land.

This worrying figure is more concerning, when we consider recent figures show that with regards to personal greenspace, as much as one in eight of the UK population have no access to a garden, the figures are even worse in London where one in five do not access to a garden.

Perhaps now is the time to take stock of the current state of our allotments and look at how local authorities and allotment groups across the UK are managing their current allotment sites, introducing new allotment sites, making allotment sites more sustainable and environmentally friendly and even digitising the way they manage and record these valuable assets. Going on stage further the seminar will also look at the issue of urban agriculture and how some organisations are developing community food hubs to help address issues such as food security, healthier eating, community cohesion and the promotion of organic food growing.

It is against this backdrop of increasing interest and demand that APSE’s 2020 Allotment Seminar intends to highlight best practice and innovation to secure the long-term future of these valuable environmental and community assets.


The State of the Market Results on Allotments 2020

Wayne Priestley, Principal Advisor, APSE


The Importance of having an Allotment Strategy

Mel Henley, APSE Associate


Derby City: Self-managed urban allotment sites

Ruth Bucknall, Derby City Council


From compost to computers- digitising the management of allotments

Peter Hollis, MD, MCPC Systems


Developing new and refurbishing existing allotment sites – A success story

Annie Surtees Greenspace and Street scene Manager, Salford City Council


The Organic allotment - how to get nature on your side

Anton Rosenfeld, Garden Organic


Allotments and Biodiversity – Gardening in harmony with Nature

Sandy Paterson, Natural Environment Officer (Growing Spaces), Glasgow City Council


Developing a Community Food Hub

Chris Walsh, The Kindling Trust



Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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