During 2023 – 2024 LESS will be exploring how allotments are doing and what current and potential plot holders’ dreams are for allotment futures.

Are you an allotment holder or committee member? Are you on an allotment waiting list? Are you involved in some other form of community growing project in the District? Are you thinking about starting a new allotment site or community growing project? Or are you interested in growing your own food but don’t know how to start?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should feed into the allotment review.

What is the allotment review and who is involved?

LESS is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company set up in 2007 to provide practical support to help the residents of Lancashire live more sustainably. It is overseeing a review of allotments across Lancaster District (which includes Bowland, Carnforth, Halton, Heysham, Lancaster, Morecambe and Silverdale) in liaison with North Lancashire’s FoodFutures partnership and Lancaster City Council (Allotments – Lancaster City Council ).

The review will be carried out independently with input from allotment sites and current and potential allotment plot holders and stakeholders across the District. The review will report on what has been found across the District and will share recommendations for supporting thriving allotments going forwards.

This work is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

The review will look at several broad areas including: 

  • The present provision of allotments, where they are, what’s going on and how they are doing? What they have and what they are lacking? Training and other support needs?
  • Allotment governance – now and going forwards.
  • How allotments contribute to wildlife and biodiversity; climate resilience as temperatures and weather patterns change; food security with seasonal local produce.
  • The demand for potential new sites across the District and gaps that could be filled.
  • What’s happening on other community growing spaces in the District?
  • Future visions, recommendations and strategies for supporting healthy thriving allotments across the District.

The work is being done by LESS and a freelance researcher (Deborah Simmonds) and the initial review will be completed by 31st March 2024. The research findings will be shared with the FoodFutures partnership, Lancaster City Council, through an open public FoodFutures event and via articles in THRIVE magazine after the research is completed.

How to get involved?

Feed in by completing one of the following surveys by 20 November 2023. All completed surveys will be entered into a draw (one draw for each allotment site) to win a prize from a local food and/or gardening businesses.

If you are part of an allotment committee, please complete this survey:

Allotment Committee Survey

If you are an allotment plot holder, please complete this survey:

Plot Holder Survey

If you are on a waiting list, or feel that there are gaps in provision in your area or are keen to set up a new allotment site or are part of a community food project, please complete this survey:

Allotment Gaps Survey

Allotment site visits and events

LESS will be arranging allotment site visits, interviews with allotment committees and events throughout October – February. Deborah will be in touch soon to arrange these.

Community conversations 

LESS will host a series of community conversations in January and February 2024. Please keep an eye on the FoodFutures calendar for details of these.

We hope the above offers some clarity about the allotment review and gives you a sense of what is going on. If you have any questions or queries please do contact allotment_review@lessuk.org

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