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Thread: Allotment Holders

  1. #1
    Cloud's Avatar
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    I don't mean to be mean but surely people who have more than one allotment are preventing people like me from getting one.
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    A lot of people who have more than one allotment are those who took to it before GYO became trendy and as such kept allotment sites out of the hands of developers. Without them there would be even fewer plots available! Providing they are well tended, it would be wholly unfair to take them away.

    I do understand the fustration, but surely the real villians are people who take on allotments and cling onto them by doing as little as possible - we have 3 plots on site which belong to people who will perhaps want them in a year or so (awaiting retirement?). The odd dug bed will appear when they are threatened by the allotment officer!

    I do sympathise, I don't have a garden and was lucky to get an allotment last year just before there was a rush. My immediate allotment neighbour prefers golf to gardening and I've seen him once this year, whilst I have friends who would kill to take it on and are really fustrated that it is going to waste

    Jane

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    Hi Cloud!

    We've got 2 plots, next door to each other, and both are fully utilised, looked after on a regular basis, planted, weeded and harvested by us both! The 2 plots are in both our names, and give us just about enough space for us to grow enough fruit and veg to keep us going for most of the year, a single plot wouldnt give us enough room to do that, and although I can see where you are coming from I can also see that on our site (34 plots in total), that although they are all taken, there are only about 16 that are under full cultivation (and all of them are taken by plotholders with 2 plots each), and about 8 of the other plots are in such a mess that they have been written to and given a notice to cultivate or they will be repossessed! Usually when that happens they turn up, dig a bed or so, then do nothing until the next letter arrives! I'd say those who have a plot and hang on to it without working it are the ones that need to be sorted out, rather than those who have a couple of plots and have them fully under cultivation!

    Oh, and no offence taken BTW!
    Last edited by Mrs Dobby; 11-06-2008 at 08:06 AM.
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    Also when we tuck on our 2nd plot there was plots avalibel on the site.
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    It's not the ones who have more than one, its the ones who use their plots as cheap storage for junk that gets me. One guy has 3 plots; one private and 2 council. The private one is well cultivated - and 2 council ones have a polytunnel on one with 2/3 of it waist high in weeds and a load of junk and about 5 beehives on another [these are next to each other] with about 7/8 of the plot waist high and a load of junk. His nephew has the one next to it and he uses the shed and the rest is - yes - waist high in weeds with a load of junk.

    Our council guy said that the waiting list is getting longer and he is going to have to start getting the plots fully cultivated or they will lose them; at long last.

    So, make best friends with the council guy, and keep visiting the plots and telling him how many are not cultivated [if any aren't] - that's what I kept doing and will keep doing until I am offered to take on another. It gets addictive!

    Just keep reiterating that it is wasted land and you are raring to go to get it dug up and planted out.
    Last edited by zazen999; 11-06-2008 at 08:07 AM.


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    afraid to say we also have 2 plots,but as with mrs D we found that 1 wasn't enough to grow all that we need,& at the time of taking them there were sevral vacant plots & the majority of plotholders were pensioners gradually giving up plots as they were finding them too much.have you chatted to the secretary of any sites to see if they think anyone would be prepared to share a plot with you?theres a few on our site who through illness/age are struggling to maintain a whole plot & have gone 1\2's with some newer folk that are not quite ready to take the plunge of a whole plot;I know this may not be what you're looking for but may help to get your foot in the door?&at the same time help out someone who doesnt want to see their plot go to ruin?Good Luck!
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    bluemoon is offline Early Fruiter
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    We have two plots, both were shoulder high in brambles and one was covered in so much scrap metal that it was impossible to even begin to cultivate until we persuaded a local metal dealer to come and remove it - he filled his lorry, twice. Admittedly we took on the plots before GYO became fashionable so didn't have the hassle of waiting lists, but although there is currently quite a long waiting list for our site two plots still remain vacant. Both are in a state, but neither one is any worse than ours were when we took them on. The fact is that many people on the list are after a plot which is well cultivated and preferably with a shed and a greenhouse already in situ. If no-one is prepared to put in the time, the work or the money that we did why should I give them one of our plots? A local group occasionally has an open day on our site and allotment wannabees trudge round looking for a prospective plot, but it's noticeable that the two that are actually vacant never appear on these people's 'wanted' lists. A site nearby has loads of vacant plots that have even been recently cleared by the council, I've frequently offered to meet people there with the key (my mum's plot is there) and show them around, but as that particular site is not considered as 'posh' as ours no-one wants to know.

    Having said all that I have read many posts on here by people who were over the moon to have received the keys to their own bramble infested patch so I know that not all people on the lists are like this, it's just that at our site it seems that everyone who is prepared to put the effort in has already been offered a plot and those that remain have unrealistic expectations or are just plain lazy/greedy. If I were to give up one of my plots to one of these people how long before they abandoned it in favour of their next fad? And how long would it take me or someone else to sort out the mess they left behind?

    I do agree that some people use their plots as dumping grounds. Many years ago we had one next to a builder who used it for dumping his rubble. He did grow a few tomatoes every year, which he'd water with a hose-pipe. He'd frequently leave the hose on, flooding our plot. The tomatoes were enough for him to claim that it was 'under cultivation'. I'd hope that with the current pressure on allotment space people like him would be evicted, I'd even like to see them forced to clear their rubbish first, but I suppose that's asking too much.

    I'm not offended either, I can well imagine the frustration of being on an interminable waiting list and seeing people with two or more plots, but allotments were not always this popular and the history of those with two plots is often rooted in the days when they could hardly be given away and the second one was taken on as a way to help keep the site viable in the council's eyes. Unfortunately we dual plot holders are now used to never buying potatoes and having the space to try five different pumpkins, so we'd have to be dragged kicking and screaming from them. Perhaps an idea would be for councils to have a policy of only renting out half a plot to begin with, with the option of taking on the whole if the other half gave up, or of being allowed to apply for a full plot after two years. That way more people could have a go and those who soon became bored wouldn't have done too much damage.

  8. #8
    Pootle is offline Rooter
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    I haven't got an issue with the 2 plot lot, at least when they're actually using them. We have half a plot because that was what our council decided to do to reduce waiting lists - its fine, but the other half has barely been touched (except when it was inspection time) and he got all the existing soft fruit (strawbs and raspberries), rhubarb etc...

    I do understand that its a big job getting it back into shape and that he and his wife are quite elderly but they could at least pick the stuff that is already growing there! I'm looking longingly at the strawbs as they ripen and then go mouldy. Even the birds don't get a look in because he's put up some net.

    I'm not being ageist by the way - there are plenty of people around the same age as this couple who have the most glorious plots, I just think people should be more realistic about what they have/haven't got time to take on - it would be fairer on everyone.

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