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Opinion : Cut the waiting list for allotments by renting the back garden of a house

| August 21, 2015


As a keen gardener I read with great interest the article that appeared on a national news site about the size of allotments.

It seems the size of a typical allotment is 250sq metres and there are an average of 52 people waiting for every 100 allotment plots in the UK.

Apparently the size of 250sq metres is designed to grow enough produce to feed a family of four for a year.

The writer of the article on the news site proposed that by dividing up the allotments into smaller sizes it would allow more people to have an allotment to grow at least something.

Well, I’ve got a better idea. Rather than relying on municipal allotments why can’t a scheme be introduced whereby people with large gardens can rent out their garden to those waiting for an allotment so they can use the ground instead?

Not only would my scheme reduce the waiting list of those wanting an allotment but it would give the home owners a source of income as well as helping to keep the back gardens of the town tidy and being used for a good purpose.

Surely it would not be too hard to create a register, approved and inspected by the local Councils if need be, of suitable properties with large gardens that could be let out to budding gardeners?

Why be restricted by the few and far between municipal allotments when there are so many back gardens being left to go wild?

Maybe it should be a stipulation for all of the ‘houses of multiple occupation’ in the town to allow their gardens to be part of the scheme. After all if the entire house is being let out then why can’t the garden be let out too?

Anything you grow yourself is far better and tastier than the food bought in the shops. Indeed the large kitchen garden on my own ancestral estate is one of the greatest assets imaginable and keeps me in food all year round.

Grants are given to insulate houses and maintain them so why can’t grants (or social loans) be given to build a greenhouse, plant a fruit tree or for other improvements to enable home owners to produce their own food?

Sadly there are so many wanting to get growing on their own allotment but they are stuck on a long waiting list which means it will take years before they harvest their first runner bean.

Wycombe has many houses with suitably large gardens but they are not being used to their full potential. This seems a terrible shame.

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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