Whenever people ask me how I got a fifteen pole plot after just under a year of waiting in a busy city where growing vegetables is popular, they seem surprised there are other options available than just sitting on a council waiting list.
Britain’s councils provide a lot of our allotment space and are usually really good at handling their waiting lists. Due to the amount of people who apply for council allotments the plots are usually small and you can wait a really long time for a plot near you.
Here’s a great guide to applying for a council allotment from DirectGov: Council Allotments Guide
But remember independent allotment bodies exist, which is how I got my plot. Also they are completely reputable; my allotment has been very well maintained (other than all the overgrowth teehee) and is on even ground, with fruit trees, asparagus, rhubarb etc etc and a shed!!! So you won’t be left with a worse plot if you go independent!
If you aren’t aware of your independent local allotment society search around on Google, they likely have a website, or ask your council, as they get a lot of overflow on their waiting lists they will be aware of the local independent societies to direct people there, also ask around on forums such as allotment.org.uk. Remember there’s no rules against being on every waiting list you can be at once!
Another option is Landshare, which puts people with too much space in touch with growers who need some- everything from a busy mum who can’t keep her veg patch in line and is willing to share produce and growing with someone else, to farmers and allotment soceities with messy plots of land which need taming in exchange for growing space.
Don’t give up hope, waiting lists can very rarely be avoided, but you can sometimes find speedier ones! 🙂