September’s Discussion Report & Results of the Tattie Bash

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places a duty on every local authority to maintain a waiting list for allotments and to ensure that no one is on the list for more than five years i.e. to provide sufficient allotments to meet demand. These two requirements have clear implications for how our allotment sites are governed.

As part of GCC’s response to the implemention Part 9 of the Act they propose to review the functioning of their allotment sites and to develop an “Allotment Handbook.” There are no details as yet about how plotholders will participate in these processes.

In the light of these developments (see Appendix on Resources page under the GAF Meetings heading) the following points were raised during our discussion:

  1. Individual sites constitution and rules: Those attending felt that most sites are managed well by their allotment associations however every site is different with its own constitutions and rules that have been developed over many years. This model should be supported with minimum intervention from GCC’s Land and Environmental Services (LES) department.
  2. Waiting lists and the allocation of plots: The ability to allocate plots is particularly important for the successful running of an allotment site. Many associations offer ‘starter plots’ to those at the top of the waiting list so applicants can discover if they enjoy gardening and begin to be integrated into the allotment community. When plots become available they are offered to existing plot- holders who can move between different sized plots on the same site depending on their skills, interest, time and circumstances. This procedure has many advantages for the wellbeing of the individual and the community. There was some discussion about the linking of site waiting lists and plot allocations into a central data base and the feeling was that with goodwill this should be possible.
  3. Allotment Handbook: While a ‘ highway code’ could be useful, there were concerns that a handbook would not be a flexible document allowing for the diversity of experience across the sites. Many sites have welcome packs for new members settting out the practices which apply in their particular context. A template and exemplars such as the Constitution and Rules developed by GAF in 2013 could be useful on the website.
  4. Get togethers, visits and discussions: These interactive processes would encourage the development of good practice and sharing of information and resources rather than a more formalised documentary approach.
  5. Liability: Concerns were again raised about the liability of allotments associations as un-incorporated bodies and the protection of committee members from litigation. It would be helpful if there was a system where associations became the lessees and the responsibilities of LES, as lessor and associations, as lessees, were clearly set out. There needs to be greater clarity about what form an allotment association should take.

The 2018 Tattie Bash

Jan MacDonald writes

“Hi Folks
I’m delighted to announce the winner of the 2018 Tattie Bash competition in support of the charity WaterAid.
Ann Murray, from Kennyhill Allotments,
with a whopping 1.02kg of Tatties Bashed!!!
The prize of £30 gardening vouchers will be presented at the Glasgow Allotments Forum October Celebration at St Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Newlands G43 2DS, Saturday October 6th .
50 buckets + tatties were sold @ £2 each on Potato Day, raising £100 for WaterAid. In addition we have received donations of over £70 so far.
You can see the weight of tatties harvested at the weigh-ins below. Very good results for a hot summer and terrific to see a bit of inter-generational competition in the Young family at Kennyhill.
Ann Murray 1.02kg
Liz McGrath 0.92 kg
Dave Hadley 0.91kg
Amelie Young 0.78kg
Alexander Young 0.69kg
Ruth Young 0.66kg
Craig Young 0.71 kg
Thanks for all your support.”

Reminders and Updates

The GAF Workshop: Promoting Glasgow’s Allotments takes place this coming Saturday, September 15th from 10.30 – 1.00 pm at St Georges Tron Church on Buchanan Street. Coffee and lunch are included. Interested plotholders are welcome to attend. (For details see our previous Blog post).


Just a quick reminder to put the Celebration of Allotments event on October 6th in your diary and bring along any cakes, jams, pickles etc. that you can spare for the café and our produce stall.

The draft minutes of our last meeting, held on September 6th,  are now up on the Resources page. A summary of the discussion on Rules and Regulations and a report on the Community Learning Visits on August 31st will be posted shortly.

14th-17th September is Open Farms and Gardens  in Glasgow. See the Events page for a link to the programme and notice of allotment sites which will be open as part of the initiative.

GAF Workshop: Promoting Glasgow’s Allotments

What contribution can allotments make to our City’s future?
One of GAF’s primary aims is promoting the value of allotments. As we have begun to encourage more people to visit allotments we’ve realised that there is a lack of appreciation of the changes in what plot-holding means to allotment association members and their local communities.
This workshop aims to:
                 •      clarify the purposes and needs that plot-holding
                        serves for our members and their local
                 •      look towards the future of food growing/urban
                        gardening and the preservation, expansion
                        and use of green space in the City.
                 •      devise a strategy for promoting allotments
                        in Glasgow.
If you would be interested in attending the workshop please let us know using the contact e-mail.
Open Farms and Gardens from September 14th – 19th
If you would like your site to join in this event or want to know more about the programme see the information and link to Propagate on the Events page.
Those of you contemplating a project that requires funding may be interested in a course running at the Albany Learning and Conference Centre – for more information and the link to course organisers see the Events page.



Getting Funding, Rules and Regulations & National Allotment Week

Listening to Radio 4 this morning I found out that August 13 – 19this National Allotments Week – so a good week for attending Open Days.

BBQ 4Aug18a (1) 2

Getting Funding Discussion Report

You’ll find the report of our discussion on Getting Funding on the Sites page together with links to useful websites. The report is about how to make a successful bid for money to maintain and improve your site. We took eight main messages from our discussion:

  • Make sure your story fits with the funder’s purposes.
  • Check that you are eligiblefor funding.
  • Ask for advicefrom the funder/relevant organisations about whether or not your project is suitable for funding and seek feedbackon your ideas.
  • Talk to allotment associations which have already secured funding about their experiences.
  • Have a strategyfor funding your project if it’s going to cost a lot.
  • Remember you can put forward the cost of your members’ labour (both physical and intellectual) as part of your contribution to project.
  • Don’t give up easily. If you get turned down seek advice on how to improve your case from the funder and re-apply.
  • Establish your presence locally and on the web.


Next Meeting – Rules & Regs.

Our meeting on Thursday September 6th will start with a discussion of Rules and Regulations – this is a topical issue given that Glasgow City Council is obliged to consult on, and issue new regulations under Part 9 of the Community Empowerment Act.

Currently we’re operating on local authority sites with regulations that were passed by the Council in 1959. These definitely need updating. We have a very different mix of people who are plotholders now with a very different set of interests and purposes. New Rules and Regs. need to take account of this change in demography.

Do come along and join the discussion – Garnethill Multicultural Centre 7pm..

Autumn Bonfires

It’s coming up to that time in the year when there’s clearing up to be done. Responding to an enquiry from High Carntyne about burning gardening waste on allotment sites we were directed to the following advice by Sandy Paterson from Land and Environmental Services:

“It is permissible to burn garden rubbish in a Smoke Control zone, but you should not cause a nuisance to your neighbours. However, we would encourage everybody to dispose of their garden rubbish in a sustainable way.

For details of how you can dispose of garden rubbish please contact our Waste Management Section on 0141 287 9700. If you require further information or advice on air quality and smoke control then please phone 0141 287 1059




Judging the New Plotholders’ Awards & the Civic Canteen


Sarah Henry & Iain Sutherland

We had a wonderful day judging the New Plotholder Awards (. Our new judge, Angela Smith from the RHS, is knowledgeable, enthusiastic and passionate about allotments and the benefits they provide. (Full results for 2018 on the Awards page.)

We were extremely impressed with the all hard work that had gone into each of the plots. There was a wonderful variety and creativity of approach displayed by the applicants, with sheds and greenhouses built out of recycled materials and clever ideas for garden planning and planting. This was made all the more impressive since new plotholders had been confronted by extremely challenging conditions. Many of the plots were overgrown with pernicious weeds and full of rubbish which had to be cleared first. It was incredible how quickly they had all been transformed into productive, healthy and inspiring growing spaces.


The standard of the plots was so high that it took Angela’s expert eye to pick out the finer details between the various applicants. Selecting the winner was tough and we spent a full hour discussing it. John Moody from South Western Allotments took top place, with Michael Ekins from Mansewood Allotments as second. Both of them had shown real imagination in transforming difficult plots and creatively recycling materials to make beds and sheds. Angela was especially keen on allotments which showed environmental responsibility and had systems for composting and water harvesting in place.  All in all, it was a fantastic day and I am looking forward to next year already.

Many thanks to Angela and to all the applicants for allowing us onto their plots, each one was special and unique.

Pop-Up Civic Canteen

As part of the cultural strand of Glasgow 2018 European Championships the Civic Canteen will be open from Thursday August 9thto Sunday August 12th, see the programme at Civic Canteen . In the evenings there will be workshops using local and seasonal ingredients.  Jan MacDonald from Mansewood Allotments will be co-hosting the workshops on Thursday and Saturday with Scotland’s National Chef Gary Maclean .


Harvesting Underway

Harvest Border Blog.jpg

Jams, Pickles and Cakes

As the harvesting of this season’s fruit and veg gets underway spare a thought for the October Celebration. It would be great if you would set aside a few jars of jam and/or pickles that we can put on the GAF stall.  Courgette and carrot cakes, blackcurrant muffins, summer fruit drizzle cakes etc will also be most welcome to supply the café. If you think you can help please contact us through this website (Contact).

New Guidelines for Managing Allotments

Don’t forget that the draft guidelines for local authorities on the provision and management of allotments 9 (Allotments – Further Guidance for Local Authorities) are up for consultation until 20thAugust (see this item under Events on the Resources page).

We think the new guidelines are generally very helpful – particularly in the recommendation to work collaboratively with stakeholders at local level . We have two concerns:

  • Under the heading Section 110 – Offer to lease an allotment paragraphs 1.7 and 1.8. The waiting list information should be designed to allow those who wish to change the size of their plot (up or down) to be at the top of the waiting list for their site.  (Many applicants want to start on a half plot or smaller and then, if they find they have the skills and enjoy it, they move up to a full sized plot. If they have to go back on the central waiting list for the larger plot then they may decide to go for a full plot initially which could lead to problems). The local authority should work in partnership with the allotment associations to sort out the needs of their members in terms of  layout of site, allocation of plots and movement.
  • We think some further clarification is needed under heading 5 – Section 115 – Allotment site regulations paragraph1. We think the differences in the relationship between the local authority when delegating to an unincorporated or an incorporated allotment association need to be made clear so that liabilities in the case of disputes are transparent and properly understood by both parties. (Most of our sites are managed by unincorporated associations where individual members are potentially liable in any dispute.)

Let ScotGov know what you think.

Funding Discussion – GAF meeting on July 5th

Funding was the subject for discussion at our last GAF meeting on July 5th (see GAF minutes on the Resources page) and we will shortly publishing a report on the topic once those attending the meeting have had a chance to respond to the first draft.

The gist of the report will be about how to tackle the practicalities of obtaining funding from a variety of sources whether these come through grants, sales, pitching in person, in print or on the web and advice on the various ways in which you can access and use available support.

We have also attached a link to Sandy Paterson’s latest report (see under GAF minutes on the Resources page) which provides a list of grant funding sources. This report also contains information about what GCC is proposing to do with regard to the implementation of Part 9 of the Community Empowerment Act. Both this report and the New Guidelines for Managing Allotments will be relevant to our next meeting on Thursday September 6thwhere the discussion topic will be Rules and Regulations on Allotment Sites.

Science – Call for Cabbage Aphids

Rachel KeIhoe at Exeter University has written to us saying:

“I’m currently doing PhD looking at using cabbage aphids to look into the impacts of climate change on insects. As such I need a number of cabbage aphids. I was wondering if any of your allotment plot holders would be willing to check their brassicas and send any aphids they might find in the post to me? I would be happy to reimburse any costs and will naturally include them in the paper that comes from this data. I can send around an info sheet if that would be of interest.”

If you think you can help you can contact her at rk378@ex.ac.uk

Just a Note

We”ve had a request for volunteer gardeners from the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice (see link under volunteering on the Resources page).

The second consultation on the Guidelines for local authorities under Part 9 (Allotments) of the Community Empowerment Act s now open (see link under the heading Events on the Resources page).