National Allotments Week
Our annual awareness week will run this year from the 5th to 11th August 2013; and we are pleased to announce that we will be working with ‘Kelly’s of Cornwall’ ice cream to make the week a delicious success.
Following on from the success of the 2012 event, we are bringing back our ‘Party on the Plot’. This year we would like to invite allotment Societies and Associations across the country to dust off their bunting and BBQs, spread the word and hold a jolly good knees-up!
This year we have decided to theme the week with a ‘fruity’ feel in celebration of the variety of sweet and succulent crops you can grow on a UK allotments. Too often allotments are thought of as places that only grow the humble potato or everyday carrot, but in truth they offer a cornucopia of delicious treats – from sumptuous strawberries, ravishing raspberries and glorious gooseberries through to beautiful blackberries, precious plums and appetising apples.
We need your help…Survey and Competition
To help us build up a better picture of what you are growing and how you see your allotment, we have put together a very short survey. Please take a few minutes to answer the questions and you could be in with the chance of winning £50 worth of gardening books – just click here to enter! All your answers will help us to create a strong argument as to why allotments must be cherished now and in the future!
To receive your free ‘Party on the Plot’ pack and register your interest in holding an event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your association’s name, a postal address for correspondence, the date of your event, details of your events and a contact phone number and email address)
Party on the Plot ideas…
- Old Fashioned Tea Party with fruit themed treats – for example; scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, Victoria sponge with raspberry jam, orange jelly, fruit topped Pimms and lemonade, pear Cider, Orange Blossom tea or Earl Grey tea served with lemon!
- Fundraising Quiz with fruity questions – for example; ‘In which film did Jack Lemmon star alongside Marilyn Monroe in 1959?’ (Some Like it Hot) or ‘What is the main fruit ingredient in Ribena?’ (blackcurrant)
- BBQ – for example; hog roast with apple sauce, burgers with homemade tomato relish
- Talks and demonstrations – for example: how to make jam, jellies and preserves
Keep an eye out on the ‘Kelly’s of Cornwall’ website for some exciting growing competitions; with prizes to be won…..Coming Soon!
The serious reason for National Allotments Week and ‘Party on the Plot’…
By opening up your allotment site and inviting the local community to see what happens behind the gates, our hope is that more people will begin to see the benefits allotments bring; not only to those who garden the plots, from families and school children through to working couples and retired individuals, but to the wildlife who in inhabit them and the the cities that breathe a little easier because of them.
Allotments need protecting from development plans and budget cuts, so now is the time to act. If you think your site is under threat then there are several things you can do.
- Find out if your land is statutory allotment land or temporary land. If it is statutory land then the Council must apply to the Secretary of State in order to dispose of the allotments. This process means you have a chance of saving the land by putting together a strong case for its protection. The National Allotment Society plays a part in this process, so contact us for guidance.
- Hold a ‘Party on the Plot’ to galvanise community support for the site. Show people why the allotments should be kept and ask them to support you.
- Get your site listed under the Government’s ‘Right to Bid’ scheme, meaning if the land comes up for sale, you (or your association) have six months in which to buy it. There are also Government grants available to help you finance the sale. (http://mycommunityrights.org.uk)