Azara Blog: National Trust will supposedly open up 1000 allotments

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Date published: 2009/02/19

The BBC says:

The National Trust is releasing enough land for up to 1,000 allotments, on some of the most famous country estates in Britain.

The land will be available for individuals or community groups in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The release will be organised through the Landshare website, which matches growers with available land.

The Trust says there are now 100,000 people on waiting lists for allotments around the country.

BBC environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee said it was not long ago that allotment gardening was a deeply unfashionable pursuit, with many plots abandoned, and few people willing to take them on.

However, increasing consumer interest in where food comes from, combined with concerns about food miles and sustainability, has led to an allotment renaissance, our correspondent added.

Unfortunately most National Trust land (at least where they have enough to not worry about the odd allotment getting in the way) is in the middle of nowhere. For example, near Cambridge the likely venues are Anglesey Abbey and Wimpole Hall. The former is at the edge of the fen and the latter is in an equally isolated spot. Perhaps a few nearby villagers might jump at the chance (although in the middle of nowhere one would have thought that most people who were keen to grow vegetables were already doing so on their own land). And given how many properties the NT owns perhaps they are only expecting the odd soul at any given property. All in all, this is mostly an academic middle class PR exercise rather than anything useful.

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