Allotment inspections – yea or nay?

I was contacted this week by someone who’s concerned about the new six-weekly allotment inspections by Kirklees Council. I was a bit surprised by this, as I know that lots of people think these inspections are a very good idea. Having seen many people be unable to get a local allotment plot in recent years, I tend to think that the council are right to check that allotments are being put to good use.

However, this week I also realised how worrying it must be for some allotment gardeners to find out that they’re suddenly going to be inspected – because people who care about their allotments obviously don’t want to feel like they might lose them.

To help set people’s minds at rest, I’ve checked with Julian Faulkner from Kirklees Council. He’s confirmed that the inspections are just to make sure that people are using their plots rather than letting them lie dormant. This is so that plots can be offered to other people if they’re not being used – so it’s aimed at helping people who want to grow their own food and is nothing for most growers to worry about.

Julian’s advice is to check your tenancy agreement to see what’s expected of you. As a rough guide, the council will check to see that each plot is cultivated (dug and prepared at this time of year and growing crops during the main season). Plots should be tidy with no articles or materials except those that will be used in the growing of crops on site (no piles of rubbish, timber etc).

He’s also sent us a list of common conditions for allotment sites, which you might find useful:

Dos and Don’ts – Conditions for having your allotment garden (pdf)

For the latest information about the council’s work to improve local allotments, see:

More allotment improvements in Kirklees – Kirklees Council online news

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