Getting Started

So you’ve decided to put your name down for an allotment and start growing your own food but where do you start? This website will guide you through the process to make it easier for you.

What is an allotment?

An allotment is an area of land which is rented on a yearly basis to local residents and community groups. The purpose of an allotment is to grow your own food whether that is fruit, herbs or vegetables. Flowers can be grown but they are mostly for edible crops.

Some allotment sites also allow tenants to keep chickens and other livestock. The overall size of an allotment plot also varies depends where you are in the country.

Plots are measured in rods, also called perches or poles. This is an old measurement which dates back to anglo-Saxon times. Plots are usually 10 rods which is the equivalent of 250 square metres.

Tenants rent plots on a yearly basis. Rents vary throughout the country, the average is £60 per year.

Sites are either owned by the local authority or from private landlords. Local authority sites are either classed as temporary sites or statutory sites. Statutory sites are protected by law.

To apply for an allotment contact your local authority who will have a list of local authority sites and private landlords. If you search the internet you will find local authority sites under their parks and leisure departments.

The state of your allotment will probably look something like this. Photo: Sean James Cameron

How to apply for an allotment?

Contact your local authority who will have a list of local authority sites and private landlords. If you search the internet you will find local authority sites under their parks and leisure departments.

Sites are either owned by the local authority or from private landlords. Local authority sites are either classed as temporary sites or statutory sites. Statutory sites are protected by law.

Rents vary throughout the country but on average it is £60 for a yearly rental.

Submit your application as soon as you decide you want an allotment as most have waiting lists. The length of the list will depend where you are in the country.

You could be on your new allotment within week or months but in reality the average wait is 3 years. In some areas of London the waiting list is 15 years! So the sooner you put yourself on the list, the better.

On a new allotment you may find some useful items you can also use. Photo: Sean James Cameron

Additional reading…

Article: Things to consider when looking at your allotment
Article: First day on your new allotment