A lot to lose: London's disappearing allotments

Date published: 
01 October 2006

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The relentless pressure on land in the capital, the need to build at high densities, and, in some cases, neglect and disuse, mean that allotments are slowly but surely being eroded. And yet, paradoxically, while sites close across London, demand has never been higher. The unprecedented interest in organic food has led to a renaissance in allotment gardening, particularly among women and young families.

Our report is based on the most comprehensive survey carried out of London’s allotments. As well as mapping sites across the city for the first time, we examine the benefits they bring to individuals and how vulnerable sites can best be protected.

Among our recommendations are an online search tool for allotments in London, greater sharing of information on supply and demand across the capital and the use of boroughs’ planning powers to compel high density housing developers to allocate land for allotment use.