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 secretary@glasgowallotmentsforum.org.uk

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).

Growth at Last!


June has been a busy month down at the plot nevertheless, whilst the cabbage patch is looking good, we do have a few other events to report besides alerting you to our meeting in July.

At the SAGs Conference there was an input from the Grow Observatory (www.growobservatory.org)which is looking for volunteers to engage in scientific observations. The aim is to create a better understanding about the conditions required for growing food locally. Maybe members might be interested in forming a GAF group of citizen scientists to join the project? Other links that might be of interest were to the work of the Soil Association in encouraging food growing in Edinburgh in conjunction with the network for Sustainable Food Cities. https://www.soilassociation.org/our-work-in-scotland/good-food-for-all/good-food-in-practice/


On June 8thwe met with Councillor Anna Richardson who was impressed by our report on Kids’ Friendly Allotments (link on Sites)  and the feedback from the visit we hosted on May 17th (link on Events). She’s agreed to raise the issue of the need for play space on new sites and also that we should arrange a visit for Glasgow City councillors to tour some of the local sites and discuss issues with plotholders in August. A link to the note of our meeting is on the Events page.


Our next meeting in July starts with a look at funding and how various associations have been successful in getting the resources they need to make improvements to their sites. As we did after our last meeting, we’ll be collecting together everyone’s experience and advice and publishing it here. (PS If you are coming along to the meeting please bring any spare jam jars you can find).

 **  DEADLINE APPROACHING **  If you have had your plot for 18 months or less and you haven’t entered for the New Plotholder’s Awards yet take a look at what you need to do to get the chance of a helpful cash contribution to developing your new plot (see Awards page).


The Scottish Government have completed a re-draft of the Statutory Guidelines for Local Authorities on Part 9 (Allotments) of the Community Empowerment Act. They received a lot more feedback from the first consultation than they expected. Those of you who responded to that earlier draft will be pleased to see they have taken on a number of our recommendations. They have announced that:

“A further public consultation on draft statutory guidance for local authorities relating to 10 sections of Part 9 of the Act is due to open on Monday 25th June.The public consultation will be open for a period of 8 weeks, closing on Monday 20thAugust.”

The link will be  https://consult.gov.scot/




Feedback and Feedforward


As promised the summary of the discussion at our meeting in May on how to create Kid Friendly Allotments is is now available on the Sites page. You’ll find a range of ideas there that people have tried and tested.

As a result of the conversation GAF has put up money for awarding  prizes for young  “allotmenteers” at this year’s October Celebration (see Events).

May 17th Visits

An update on the discussions held at three different Glasgow allotment sites about the implications of the Community Empowerment Act – which was sponsored by the Community Learning Exchange – is now available on the Events page.

Visitors and hosts at South Western Allotments.


The feedback from our guests  was that they were surprised and impressed by the range and scope of the contributions that allotments were making to their local communities/environments and that we ought to do more to promote their value.

There will be a meeting next week with Councillor Anna Richardson,  to discuss some of the issues that were raised  – particularly about the contribution allotments can (and do) make to people’s health and well-being and their social inclusion as well as the benefits they can provide for our City’s environment.

July Meeting

The theme for the discussion during the first part of GAF’s meeting on  Thursday July 6th (see Calendar on Events page) will be getting funding for your site: – finding sources, making applications, entering into partnerships etc.

The main items on the Business meeting agenda will be:

1   Taking forward the promotion of allotments.

2    Planning the October Celebration


May Business and the New Plotholders’ Awards

We had a useful discussion on the topic of getting young people and families involved on our sites at our meeting on May 3rd– with an array of good  ideas from those who came along to the session. We’ll be putting up a record of the discussion once everyone who was there has had a look at the draft.

The minutes of the business meeting  have been posted on the Resources page.

On May 17th we hosted a visit from a group of  Scottish Government officials with responsibility  for implementing  the Community Empowerment Act and for the consultation on the Local Governance Review which will be published shortly. We spent time at three of Glasgow’s allotment sites: Hamiltonhill, Springburn Gardens and South Western. The sun was out and there were plenty of people working their plots so  we had some lively discussions about the value and function of allotments. Our visitors were impressed by the range of contributions that the sites were making to their local communities and the environment. (We’ll post a short report for you by the end of the month on the specific issues that were raised.)

It’s the time of year to start thinking about entries for the New Plotholders’ Awards which are sponsored by Glasgow’s Incorporation of Gardeners. Sarah Henry has agreed to take on the job of organising the judging this year which will take place in July.

Details of how to apply are now on the Awards page.

GCC Consultation

We got notification on Friday from Sandy Paterson that the consultation on the development of Glasgow’s parks and greenspaces , Our Dear Green Place, would stay open for comments until Friday May 18th although the exercise officially closed on May 11th. (download the document here Glasgow Parks and Greenspaces Vision – draft May 2018 ) or view at: 


The part of the document relating directly to allotments runs from page 19-21. We think the sections which follow on Learning, Diversity and Inclusion and Sustainability (pages 22-35)  are also of interest to Associations and plotholders as are those on Partnership, Delivery Mechanisms (for the plan) and Financial Sustainability  (pages 41 – 49).

If you do want to comment please e-mail your response to parks.strategy@glasgow.gov.uk by Friday of this week.


Open Days etc.

Just a quick note to say that you’ll now find notice of a few of this summer’s Allotment Site Open Days along with the Scottish Allotment and Garden Society’s (SAGS) annual conference on the Events page.

For those of you wanting to contact an allotment site for which we don’t currently have any contact details you’ll now find information for getting in touch with Sandy Paterson – who is the person who liaises with allotments sites on behalf of Glasgow City Council – on the New Plotholders page.