Tell Eric Pickles that allotments must not be sold off!

Responsible department: Department for Communities and Local Government

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, is examining plans to free local authorities from a 103-year-old obligation to provide plots of public land for cultivation by gardeners. The proposals could see local authorities, many of them strapped for cash under government-imposed cuts, selling off allotment land for social housing or even for profit to major companies.



Be part of the generation that saves British bees

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has written the draft National Pollinator Strategy and we now have a small window to make it good enough to save our bees.

The consultation opened on 6 March and will close after just eight weeks on 2 May.

To sign the Bee Cause petition, please go to



An effective UK National Pollinator Strategy – What you can do now

“Getting the National Pollinator Strategy right will not only complement, but also elevate and boost existing action by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and other organisations.  Action, above and beyond existing initiatives, is expected and needed.”  Sybil Graham, National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI), speaking at a Nov 2013 parliamentary briefing for Conservative Peers and MPs.

The National Pollinator Strategy (NPS) was published on 6 March 2014 for eight weeks of public consultation ending on 2 May.  The final NPS is due in June.  At the historic June 2013 Bee Summit, which Friends of the Earth hosted with the NFWI, Waitrose and The Co-operative, Lord de Mauley, Defra Minister of State, stared that the NPS would meet the 7 tests set by top UK scientists – see FoE’s briefing

This briefing summarises where FoE think the draft consultation NPS is useful and where it needs significant improvement if it is to be effective and commensurate to the task.  It is vital that the Government shows true leadership and high ambition if the decline of bees and other pollinators is to be reversed.


Be on a show – The Big Allotment Challenge‏

Davinia Richardson is working on a BBC2 primetime gardening series called The Big Allotment Challenge and they’re looking for contestants.

The programme will follow a handful of talented amateur gardeners as they transform a plot of earth in their beautiful walled garden into a patch of beauty to reveal all the wonderful possibilities that can be unlocked from allotment growing. Kitchen gardening and growing your own produce is an amazing way to live and this series celebrates that. They’re looking for people who can grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers, those who can make their green tomatoes into yummy chutney, their strawberries into jam or arrange their roses into a bouquet.

They’re looking for amateurs so obviously they don’t expect anyone to be highly skilled at everything; they could be a window box grower, an existing allotment owner or simply love to grow veg in their back garden, but they’d love to speak to anyone who has got the enthusiasm to grow and the dedication to learn.

They’re holding auditions in the next few weeks so it would be great to reach as many keen gardeners as possible and they’d love to spread the word to the readers in our area. There’s more information at the link below:


Save Farm Terrace Allotments, Watford

Please help the Farm Terrace Community Association  to save Farm Terrace
Allotments, Watford, and help to protect all allotment sites from future development.

Did you know that, due to the relaxation in planning laws, an increasing
number of allotment sites in the UK are being sold off by Local
Authorities or Parish & Town Councils for redevelopment?

Since 2007, 128 out of 132 applications to close or relocate allotment
sites have been granted by the UK Government. Their own allotment site
that has been in existence since 1896 is now under threat for a second
time after they had previously launched a successful legal challenge in
August 2013 against the UK government. They are now taking the
Government to court for a second time and, if successful, will help
protect other allotment sites as a successful legal challenge by them
will become case law. If you would like to know more about their story,
or wish to help in any way, please take a look at their website which has
a link to their fund-raising page -

Andrew Moore & Bob Wakeling
Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Farm Terrace Community Association