The demand for allotments in Wales have increased since the first lockdown.
Allotments have been around for hundreds of years, yet it’s the system created in the nineteenth century that we recognise today. Land was handed over to the labouring poor for the provision of food growing.
In August 2020, the Social Farms and Gardens announced a support package in partnership with the Welsh Government. Over £130,000 has been invested since then to meet the growing demand for allotments.
Amy Vignes has been working at Pontcanna Permanent Allotments for over 11 years.
Amy, who lives alone, says the allotment has helped her both physically and mentally.
She says: “It has been good exercise over the lockdowns – I have a chat with people and a walk.
“The allotment has been a god send; it really has.”
The National Allotment Society reported a 45% increase in the number of requests for information through their website, with the Royal Horticultural reporting similar increase in traffic on their website.
In a statement on their website, the NAS says: “With one in eight of the UK population having no access to a garden – one in five in London – and a rise in awareness of the fragility of our food systems, perhaps now is the time for central government to reassess the potential of allotments to support public health and make a significant contribution to food security.”
Elizabeth Allnutt- Carlisle, a member of the National Allotment Society, has shared her experience in lockdown on her blog.
She says: “Lockdown is not easy, but being able to go to the allotment has been my salvation – both physically and mentally.
“I am a retired person with lots of room in the house and plenty of things to do, but severely miss my activities and my friends.
“On the allotment I can get rid of frustrations with digging, exercise with enjoyment and have a bit of a chat and social contact at a distance.
”It restores me”
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2ZKPqT1
Words and images by Lily Watts.