The aim of the Plotting Onwards project was to work closely with several Lancaster District allotment associations to build their capacity to maintain and develop their association.
Initial assistance provided by LESS worked to increase the skills and the organisational management of committee members. LESS collabarated closely with volunteer committee members to collate information about each site and engage with the plot holders to agree priorities and plans.
Alongside this, LESS staff were able to provide practical support to address immediate priority physical site improvements such as vegetation clearance and marking out new plots on some of the sites.
Support was also offered to develop future plans for improvements to the sites such as new facilities like compost toilets. The long-term development plans for sites were seen as a key area to work on by LESS to ensure continued success for all the allotment associations involved.
Other advice provided included site management issues and potential funding areas to build the capacity of the individual allotment associations to continue to develop beyond the period of funding.
Throughout the project LESS encouraged networking and sharing of skills between the various allotment associations involved. An initial networking event was held in May 2013 and a further event Gardeners' Question Time event held in October 2014 as part of the One Planet Festival.
As a result of the project LESS produced a Development Framework and an example questionnaire to gather information from plot holders. These are freely available for any allotment site to use and adapt as necessary for their individual circumstances.
This project was made possible through the Take Pride Community Fund, financially supported by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council.