An independent review of allotment sites across Lancaster District (from south of Galgate to Silverdale and east into the Forest of Bowland), has been published. It explores the current lay of the land and offers recommendations for supporting allotments to thrive into the future.

Funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and supported by LESS, the FoodFutures network, and Lancaster City Council, the review covers a wide range of topics including:

  • National legislation around allotments.

  • The present provision of allotments in Lancaster District; their sizes, where they are, what they grow and how they are doing; training and other support needs.

  • Waiting lists and the demand for potential new sites.

  • Allotment governance and communication within and between sites and land owners.

  • How allotments contribute to wildlife and biodiversity; climate resilience and food security with seasonal local produce.

  • What’s happening in other community growing spaces in the District?

  • Future visions and recommendations for supporting thriving allotments.

A launch event was held at The Gregson Community and Arts Centre in Lancaster on Sunday 9 June with around 50 people in attendance; including representatives from ten allotment sites, Lancaster City Council, and Morecambe Town Council reps. Alongside a seasonal community meal, a presentation by the review author, Deborah Simmonds, talked through the review’s findings and laid out recommendations going forward for Lancaster City Council, private allotment site owners, allotment committees, and others. This was followed by a Q&A session and offers of support.

This review is important because it is the first to look at all sites across the District (City Council, Town and Parish Council, Diocese, and privately owned sites). It also highlights the huge value and importance allotments offer to individuals and households beyond the growing of fruit and veg, as highlighted by the following quotes:

“I live on a small terrace with a yard. The allotment is everything to me, allowing me to grow a lot of my own food, get closer to nature, and be part of a community.”

“It’s a space for me, to give me space and time for my mental health and a place where I can do my bit to help nature and follow my gardening dreams.”

“We get to hang out on our plot and feel the benefits of having a garden, seeing the change in seasons … the joy it gives me to grow my own produce with my husband and kids. Also, for the community that comes with it.”

It is a valuable resource for anyone interested in allotments and who wants to support Lancaster District’s allotments in the future.

You can read the full report here.

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