High demand sees Roots Allotment in Abbots Leigh successfully sold out


Roots Allotments, a trailblazing provider of shared spaces for local food production, has announced that its new Abbots Leigh growing community near Bristol has officially sold out.

All 600 places at the Abbots Leigh site have now been claimed, highlighting the significant demand among local people to grow their own food, support local biodiversity and benefit from the mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors.

The community, along with similar Roots sites across the UK, is designed to provide a solution amid a national shortage of available allotments and long waiting lists across the country.

According to research by Greenpeace, the number of people waiting for a council allotment has almost doubled in the last 12 years to more than 157,000 people. Waiting times have also seen a significant increase, with waits of up to 15 years in some areas of the country.

Roots provides its members with the education, equipment and tools to grow their own food. This includes access to growing courses, workshops and dedicated patch managers, as well as all the seeds and plants required. This makes it easier for members to travel to the allotment by foot, bicycle or public transport.

The patches are made up of a variety of sizes to support different appetites. In addition to members across Bristol and North Somerset, patches have also been made available to local charities and food partnerships, community groups and schools.

G, 29, is a Roots member and is excited to start on their patch:

“I’m incredibly happy that Roots identified a huge need for growing that local councils can’t provide, and have provided a solution themselves, and I can’t wait to get growing.

“Roots have been very helpful through the process of getting the site set up, and have already built a WhatsApp group where we can start to get to know each other and swap tips and tricks, as well as getting regular updates on progress, and with opening right around the corner the excitement is palpable in every message.”

Lucy, 62, will also be taking up a patch, following frustrations with long wait times elsewhere:

“I’ve put my name on all of the waiting lists and they're impossible. The waiting list is so long, five years, 10 years - some of them had waiting lists of 200 people. I’ll never get one. I'm 62, I'll be dead before I get an allotment.

“I chose Roots because I like what you're doing and I think it's really the way to go. You set them up. They've got their growing ground, which is no dig. You give them plants, you give them seeds. You give them compost every year. I mean, it's phenomenal.”

Ed Morrison, one of the founders of Roots Allotments, said:

“This is a huge achievement and one that clearly shows the demand that is out there for people to grow their own food. It’s been fantastic to meet so many people from across the city and local area, all with their own stories of why they want to grow. Whether it’s a lack of access or for many, their first time growing their own food, we’re proud to provide a solution, along with all the help and support they may need.

“We’re excited to have hundreds of budding growers sowing their seeds and planting their plugs. It promises to be a vibrant space that not only supports new local food systems, but one that can foster a community that supports local people and boosts biodiversity.”

In preparation for opening the site, Roots and its members have completed a number of initiatives to boost biodiversity. This includes reinstating more than 1,800 metres of native hedgerow and planting more than 30 mixed variety fruit trees, as part of plans to plant more than 400 trees in total. Just recently, Roots also has worked closely with nearby residents to plant trees locally.

For more information, visit www.rootsallotments.com.