All About Allotments in Worcester
Renting an allotment is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, meet people and eat healthily. There are more than 25 sites across Worcester, including several on the west side of the city. Pete Parry is Chairman of the Worcester Allotment Forum and tells us more.
What are the best things about having an allotment?
I rent an allotment on Comer Road and there are many great things about it. One is the increase in my physical exercise – it’s a chance to get out and get some exercise and fresh air.
Everything I produce is organic and you know exactly where it’s come from. There are also benefits in terms of mental health - getting out to the allotment is very good for dealing with stress. Tending an allotment isn’t a lonely pastime, it’s a very friendly community that attracts people from all walks of life. It’s a great way of combating social isolation because you’re all involved with a common cause and everyone helps out. We enjoy social events with barbecues, bonfires and soup days. Last October we held the Worcester City Allotment Competition, a very enjoyable event at the Guildhall when 240 allotment tenants pitted their gardening skills against each other!
What if I’m new to gardening?
You have nothing to worry about. There are plenty of more experienced people about and you’ll always find someone willing to give friendly advice. Newcomers are made very welcome and you don’t have to follow the traditional idea of what to do on an allotment plot. Some people have traditional plots, but equally you’ll find a new generation of plot-holders doing it differently. Some use the no-dig principle by adding layers of mulch on top of the soil while others have made raised beds. A full plot will take up more of your time, but half plots are available, some people even maintain a quarter. It all comes at a modest cost. A half-plot costs £29.50 per year and a full plot is £59 per year.
What else do people do with their plots?
You can ask permission to keep chickens or rabbits and some people do this but they need to be seen every day to ensure that their health and safety is not compromised. I’ve got chickens at the end of my garden, we eat the eggs and the waste goes into compost. I’m also lucky to live close enough to go and pick something if we run out of veg! If you’ve completed a training course, you can even ask permission to keep bees on your allotment.
Worcester is fortunate to have so many sites and these are havens for wildlife. The city even has one of the highest populations of slow worms in the country. Allotments are good for wildlife and we encourage people not to be too tidy and to keep a small patch of their plot less tidy, to create a habitat for other creatures.
If you live in a flat or a house with no garden, an allotment is a chance to get out and enjoy open space. Sometimes, nothing beats escaping outside for a couple of hours, the peace and quiet, with only the robins for company.
TO FIND OUT MORE:
or call The Worcestershire Hub on