Kindly sponsored by:
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.
Wayne Priestley, Principal Advisor, APSE
Mel Henley, APSE Associate
Ruth Bucknall, Derby City Council
Peter Hollis, MD, MCPC Systems
Annie Surtees Greenspace and Street scene Manager, Salford City Council
Anton Rosenfeld, Garden Organic
Sandy Paterson, Natural Environment Officer (Growing Spaces), Glasgow City Council
Chris Walsh, The Kindling Trust