Results of the New Plotholders’ Awards for 2019, a new ADAs closing date and two more Open Days.

Sarah Henry writes: We had a fantastic day for the New Plotholders’ Awards (NPAs) on Saturday July 7th. Ten plotholders applied in total, over 7 different sites. We had a clear first prize at Merrylee Allotments for Sally Packer. She had an amazingly productive plot, with a fantastic focus on biodiversity, environment and encouraging insects and a creative use of recycled resources. We loved it and it scored an amazing 100 points.

Allotment June 2019

Here are the results in full.

1st Prize – Sally Packer, Merrylee allotments

2nd Prize – Rudy Intraina, Oatlands Leisure Gardens


Highly commended prizes to:

Donnie Mackie – Mansewood Allotments

John and Ann-Marie Falconer – Mansewood Allotments

Floortje Goemans – Hamiltonhill Allotments

Commendation prizes to

Lucy and David Young – Hamiltonhill Allotments

Andrei and Ani Patrana – Mansewood Allotments

We have an extra special mention for you all, which we felt it was impossible to judge with the criteria provided for the NPA. Susan Wilson nominated the community garden she runs at Reidvale Allotments and we were so impressed  with what she has done to transform this patch of land. Whilst we were there, residents from the flats opposite came by, there were volunteers from all ages and walks of life and the garden was absolutely beautiful and provided food for them all. This plot was a true community plot, for everyone, it was so impressive how much work had gone into transform the site and how much it was loved by all those who lived nearby. We felt that this deserved special mention. It provided so much more than could be judged for the NPA competition.

We strongly encouraged Susan to enter for the ADAs and will be sending her information about how to enter.

ADAs – If you haven’t put in an entry for the Allotment Development Awards it is not too late to apply – the closing date has been extended to July 31st. All you need to do to enter is to send the title of the project you want to undertake to us at GAFForum@gmail.com along with the name of your Allotment Site. You’ll find all the information about presenting your project  for the voting session on August 16th in this document:  THE ADAs Making a Proposal 2019

Two more allotment Open Days on the Events  page at Sir John Stirling Maxwell Gardens and Victoria Park Allotments.

Golf Courses, Scot.Gov’s Guidance on Allotments and Holmlea’s Open Day


Glasgow City Council has a consultation out on the use of golf courses.  The 6 courses owned by the Council tend to be underused and are proving very costly to maintain. Golf courses are a possible source of good, cultivable land which could be used for allotments, market gardens and community gardens. Such a change in use would support the City’s Food Growing Strategy.

Unfortunately the consultation form initially asks you questions about golf which you have to answer before you can get to the open-ended questions that allow you to express possible alternative uses for the sites. This means that, if like me you have no interest in golf, you have to provide dubious data for questions 1 and 2 – though you can point this out in the open-ended section. If you feel that we need better provision for allotments in the City – we haven’t had a new site since 2005 and getting a plot on many of our sites means being on a waiting list for 8 – 10 years –  you may want express an opinion on the matter despite the restrictions set by the form. The consultation closes on July 7th. The link is: http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/consultations.

The Guidance to Local Authorities for Part 9 of the Community Empowerment Act was published yesterday at  https://www.gov.scot/publications/part-9-community-empowerment-scotland-act-2015-allotments-guidance-local-authorities/

It sends a strong message  about the need for stakeholder engagement in paragraphs 9.1 to 9.4 and 11.19 of section 119 ‘food-growing strategy guidance.’

(5). Ensuring there is sufficient suitable land to satisfy future demand:
3.22 Local authorities should, where practicable, (e.g. based on the scale of the development) incorporate growing spaces in planning briefs for regeneration and new developments, preserving sufficient good quality land to satisfy current and future demand.

Finally, Holmlea’s Open Day plus you’ll find new contact data for their site and South Western allotments in the table attached to our Sites page.


Enter for the ADAs, it’s a great opportunity. Here’s ADA Tale 2

ADA Tale 2: Springburn Gardens

Winning the ADA for the North West area last year enabled us to move on with our project to refurbish some old dog kennels – which doesn’t sound particu;arly exciting. However, we’re just beginning to realise, now that we’ve nearly completed the conversion what a difference this project makes to what we can do as an association.

We planned to use the money to convert two huts for use as a schoolroom and a field kitchen so that we could open up  part of our site as a nature reserve for local schools and other groups to visit and enjoy. Getting the £500 enabled us to make a start and encouraged  us to apply successfully for a local area partnership grant.

The finished Schoolroom

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The schoolroom is already regularly in use by a group of pupils from our local secondary school and people interested in learning about foraging. The completed field kitchen will allow us to host workshops for using fresh produce such as making preserves and using fermentation techniques etc.

Foraging Workshop

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Now that we have almost completed the conversion we have realised that these two buildings not only give us the potential to develop new connections with local groups but also give our membership exciting new possibilities to get together as a community.

GET YOUR ENTRY IN : 3 prizes of £500 to support allotment development projects (see details on the Awards page).

THE ADAs Poster 3



Flaming June – New Plotholders and Foraging

The season is now coming into full swing – (even if things could do with being a little bit warmer). Strawberries and broad beans are on their way and we’re already cutting lettuce and picking mangetout peas down on the plot.

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For those of you that started working your plot from or after January 2018 don’t forget that entries for the New Plotholders’ Awards are due in at the end of this month (see the details on the Awards page). 

If you’re looking to do your bit for the planet we’re discussing effective substitutes for chemical pesticides and weedkillers at our next meeting on Thursday July 4th  (for details see the Calendar on the Events page). Come along to share knowledge and experience of using various organic methods for avoiding/controlling damage to your precious crops.

On the Events page there are also links to this season’s foraging workshops and news of more of Glasgow Allotment Sites Open Days, always a good way of getting new ideas.

ADA Tales: The Community Garden at South Western Allotments & the Bloomin’ Marvellous (?) Awards survey.

Completing Our Community Garden

Our receipt of one of the  £500 ADA awards for 2018 from GAF was a fantastic achievement for South Western Allotments on several levels. First and foremost, it allowed us to complete our Community Garden. This had previously been a piece of wasteground, almost a “dump site” behind our Community Hut.


One of our members designed the garden which was built using old pallets, recycled slabs and voluntary hard work. The raised beds contain easy to maintain perennials, all bee-friendly, and are available to older plotholders who feel unable to continue with a full plot but wish to retain their connection with the Association. We have also set aside 2 small beds for children (a suggestion we received on the night of the presentations). The whole garden is wheelchair friendly (though we are still working on main gate access). We use the area for coffee mornings and our Family and Friends Day as well as a meeting point for members.

On another level , the award was a further step in our efforts towards becoming a more inclusive and diverse community. Allotments are changing and our ADA could be seen as an acknowledgement that the challenges faced by the Committee in moving towards developing a more welcoming and holistic  ethos were well worth it. The £500 was greatly appreciated and, as the photos show, well used.

Doreen Grainger & Celia Bonner


The Bloomin’ Marvellous Awards

 We have been thinking about a way of recognising the contribution that individual plotholders make to their allotment sites. We came up with the idea of the Bloomin’ Marvellous Awards for Glasgow allomenteers who have added something exceptional to the experience of their fellow plotholders and others through the way they go about their gardening and associated activities.

The proposal is that next season allotment associations should be able to nominate candidates whom they think have made an exceptional contribution to their community. All the nominees would be visited and their stories would be written up and put forward to a external panel of judges for confirmation of the awards.

In order to sort out the criteria and the title for the awards we are putting out a short survey to find out what GAF members think about the proposal. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete so we do hope you’ll all get back to us with your views on the matter.  Survey

Please check Events – the Autumn Celebration will be on Saturday 28th September (not October 5th) and the Open Day table has been updated (don’t forget to let us know when your Open Day is happening).



Organic Weed & Pest Control, Veg of the Month and the Queen’s Park Flower Show

With the season well underway and plenty to do getting everything sown or planted out, most of us are already concerned with defending our young plants against the various pests and diseases that are ready to fall on them with whoops of joy.

A major worry for many allotmenteers is how to fight the good fight against pests and weeds without damaging the environment. If it’s a concern for you come along to share information and experiences at our next meeting in July which takes a look at this thorny issue.

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Veg of the Month – Lettuce

Lettuce was often the vegetable gathered first out of the plot – signalling that summer had arrived. Time for a salad tea – lettuce, radishes and spring onions and later tomatoes and cucumber. Now every supermarket sells salad leaves all year round nevertheless few have that authentic taste of early summer that you get with one cut fresh from the allotment.

There are many varieties available, all easy to grow. One of the great things about lettuce is that it can be ‘smodged’ (a technical term) into a small space. We have plants growing on the edge of beds of peas, root vegetables and broad beans as well as among the flowers. Try planting different varieties over the spring and summer. A sowing of lettuce seeds every three to four weeks will provide you with fresh crisp salading from spring to autumn. Aside from weeding and watering, and fending off the slugs,  there is little else to do .

Though lettuce is often used as the base of a salad it has other culinary uses. Julia Childs recommends braising lettuce with herbs and stock and serving them with melted butter. Braised lettuce and peas is also a great combination. Cut little gem lettuce in half and saute them in butter until they are wilted and a little charred. Take them out of the pan and add garden peas, mint and a little water and gentle simmer until the liquid has been reduced. Then return the lettuce to the pan to heat up again, with a further cube of butter if you dare, and a sprinkling of salt. Lettuce can also make a delicious summer soup mixed with all  the ingredients available from the plot: peas, young broad beans, leeks, and spring onions along with any herb to hand including parsley, mint, fennel and chives.

Christine Forde


There’s a Flower Show at Queen’s Park Arena on Saturday 1st June, 12pm – 5pm & with a community focus featuring activities/workshops on the environment & sustainability. There’s also a competition for growers of plants and flowers (details and contact Queens Park Flower Show).

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We’ve also had an appeal from a student at Kelvin College
Email: sophieomailley@btinternet.com
Hi there,
I’m a photography student studying at Kelvin College and currently doing a documentary project on allotments. I am really interested in visiting some allotments in Glasgow and was wondering how I would go about getting access to come in and take some photos and chat to a few people about their plots of land?

Hope to hear from you soon, Sophie.


The ADAs and the May Minutes

We are delighted to be able to offer the ADAs again this year. The purpose of these awards is to help allotment sites improve and sustain their communities and their environment and support the sharing of knowledge and good practice across Glasgow’s allotment sites.

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Three awards of £500 will be on offer to allotment associations, one each for the South, the North East and the North West area of the City.

If members on your allotment site have a project they would like to develop which would benefit from some extra cash then why not enter for the award. You’ll find all the details here in THE ADAS  and  THE ADAs proposal 2019 .

Associations which would like to make a pitch for the award should register their interest with our secretary Chris Kuhn by June 30that GAFForum@gmail.com and include the title of their project in the e-mail.

The minutes of the GAF  meeting held on May 2nd are now up on the Resources page.