City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Council Seeks To Create More Allotment Plots

By edg - Posted on 11 September 2010

Drew Wilson Inverleith Park allotment

Increasing awareness of food miles, the recession, and a broad interest in growing your own vegetables and flowers has meant the City of Edinburgh Council is looking to create more allotment plots. This weekend the Council is launching the new Allotments Strategy "Cultivating Communities: A Growing Challenge", detailing how it plans to keep up with the growing demand for allotments.

There has been a long waiting list for city allotments for decades, such as the ones in Inverleith Park (pictured), demand is growing strongly. In 1998, around 400 people were on the waiting list for an allotment. There are now 2367 people on the allotment waiting list.

The waiting list time is at least four years, and seven years at the most popular sites.

Allotments are rented out on a first-come, first-served basis and 63% of allotment holders live within 2 miles of their plot. The Council reports that there has also been a significant increase in the amount of tenement residents seeking allotments particularly in the areas of Morningside, Leith, Bruntsfield and Stockbridge.

“In launching this new allotment strategy for the city, we are building on the success of our original allotment strategy and recognising our responsibility to support the increased number of people on the allotment plot waiting list," says Councillor Robert Aldridge, Environmental Convenor for the City of Edinburgh Council.

“Allotments are excellent for contributing to a year-round healthy lifestyle and help to promote sustainability and well-being. People enjoy growing their own vegetables and flowers and this strategy will hopefully see the number and quality of allotments increase in the coming years.”

The Council has has started the search has been started to identifying potential new sites.

As well as the obvious health benefits, a typical allotment can potentially provide fruit and vegetables for a family of four all year.

The Council currently commits around £60,000 a year on managing and upkeep of its allotments. Of this figure, over £45,000 is recovered in rents.

Edinburgh City Council allotments info

Sustainable Highland Garden at Gardening Scotland