Happy New Year

We look forward to seeing you at our first meeting for 2019 which is on Thursday January 10th at Garnethill Multicultural Centre. The topic for discussion is “Getting to Know You”. This is an initiative for improving our committee’s capacity to reach out to all  plotholders in Glasgow and improve our support for allotmenteering and its benefits within the City.  The discussion will be followed by a business meeting and you can download the Agenda here: agenda .

Merry Christmas




(and a couple of other things)

Please note our new e-mail address is GAFForum@gmail.com


For Would-Be Plotholders and Gardeners

 If you are interested in the development of new allotment sites and communal growing spaces there is a workshop you may want to attend in Glasgow on the afternoon of Thursday January 24th at The Lighthouse.

 Funded by the National Lottery, the Planning Advice Service (PAS), in partnership with the Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society (SAGS), is running a series of workshops exploring how allotments and growing spaces can be incorporated into new and existing developments.

You’ll find all the details on the PAS website

Decisions for Next Season and Glasgow’s Food Strategy

Sags Banner 7

The AGM  welcomed the draft Manifesto that we published in September and agreed that it should be adopted. We plan to send it out to all our members as well as to Councillors on the Executive and Environment Committees of the GCC.

A number of topics were suggested for our meetings in 2019 :

  • Soil: structure, composition and No Dig methods
  • Organic pest and disease control
  • Sustainable Glasgow – the Green City Initiative.
  • Latest science on how plants grow, respond to the environment and relate to each other.
  • Dignity Report – Ending Hunger Together in Scotland.

Let us know what would interest you most or if there’s another topic  you would like to add.

IMG_1963 2

We’ll also be looking at suggestions of a new award for the Lotte Glob Trophy which is currently  on display in the Kibble Palace at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. A decision on whether to offer the Allotment Development Awards again this year will be taken in March.

(The draft minutes of the AGM are now on the Resources page.)

Food Strategy

On the policy front the Guidelines for Local Authorities on preparing a food-growing strategy have been published this month. It is part of the implementation of this section of the Community Empowerment Act that concerns the provision of land for allotments. There is further information about this aspect of policy that you might be interested in on the Grow Your Own Scotland website. On the same topic  Propagate have published  a report called “Roots to Market; Towards a Sustainable Local Food Economy in Glasgow’.

The AGM & Dates for Your Diary

We held the AGM last Thursday and the draft minutes will be posted as soon as those who were present have had a look at them – hopefully by the beginning of next week. In the meantime all the reports (Chair’s Annual Report, SAG’s Report and the Natural Environment Officer’s Report are on the Resources page (under the heading GAF Committee Meetings).

The new Calendar for 2019 is up on the Events page and we’ll fill in the topics for discussion once people have had a chance to respond to the various suggestions put forward at the AGM – if there’s anything you would like to see on the list please let us know.

The October Celebration and Our AGM

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making the October Celebration afternoon such a success. Our stalls did really well, We had a wonderful selection of delicious cakes and scones to go with our tea  and the friendly atmosphere was marked by plenty of lively allotment chat.


Our thanks to Bill Peebles, Dean of the Incorporation of Gardeners, who presented the New Plotholders Awards this year. Sarah Henry, who organised the judging for the awards, told the audience that visiting the plots had been inspirational.

NPA photos

John Moody from South Western Allotments received First Prize for the wonderful plot featured in our blog on August 8th. Christine Kuhn received a commendation for taming a very difficult plot on the Hamiltonhill Allotments Site.

If you missed the event there’s still a chance to get your garlic heads and winter onions ready for planting this autumn. Jan MacDonald writes:

I have seed garlic, and onion sets for autumn planting as well as tulip bulbs and green manures available – see the pdf file attached below for a detailed list.
To place an order you can contact me directly by email or mobile; phone or text. All orders subject to availability.
Orders can be collected from my house or,  for orders over £20, we can deliver to your allotment site. Cash on delivery or payment to GAF by BACS: Glasgow Allotments Forum’ S/c 80 07 67 A/c 06001929. 
Jan MacDonald, 285 Hill Park Drive, Glasgow G43 2SD  Tel:0141 585 3155      mobile : 0778 093 7278    email : jan.lynne2303@gmail.com 

Seed garlic etc Oct 2018


A  reminder that our AGM is coming up soon. We hope you’ll come along and join in making decisions about our activities for next year.


Glasgow Allotments Forum Annual General Meeting

Garnethill Multicultural Centre, 21 Rose Street,G3 6RE

7pm Thursday November 1st 2018


1          Apologies for Absence

2          Introductions – Councillors and LES officers.

3          Approval of the minutes of the 2017 AGM

4          Reports:

Review of the year 2017/2018  Jenny Reeves

Treasurer’s report. Iain Sutherland

LES Allotment report

Councillors Report

5          Elections:


Vice chair



Minute secretary

Committee members (including people with responsibility for

Communications & Publicity; Strategic Planning; Events; Talks and


6          Decisions:

  • Lotte Glob Trophy – Judy Wilkinson
  • Adoption of Manifesto proposal – Jenny Reeves
  • Calendar of Talks and Events for 2019 – Jenny Reeves
  • Proposed Site Visits Delia Henry, Eddie Simpson, Iain Sutherland, Chris Kuhn

7          Round –up of allotment activities in 2017-2018

  •  New plot-holders awards – Sarah Henry
  • New Allotment Site Development Awards – Eddie Simpson, Margaret Scott, Celia Bonner
  • War and Peas Project – Hannah Connelly
  1. AOB
  2. Date of next AGM– November 7th 2019
  3. Networking and Refreshments

Secretary 2018 –  Judy Wilkinson Contact e-mail – Judy@atlas.co.uk

Clearing Up and Looking to the Future


At the official start of Autumn there have been a few  extra clear up jobs to do as a result of storm Ali.  Hopefully this is not going to be a common feature of the weather this winter!   Remember, when you’re planning for next year you can get your seeds, onion and shallot sets and garlic at our October Celebration (see poster A4.)

Looking to The Future

At our workshop on September 15th  the GAF members’ group were looking to see how allotments could use the opportunities provided by the Community Empowerment Act to promote the values of plotholding and the contributions that allotments can make to the development of our City as the “Dear Green Place”.

Having carried out two major visits this year to look at what’s happening on our allotments and talk to plotholders about why they value their sites  we came up with the following draft manifesto ( access the pdf here Draft Manifesto 2018):

A Manifesto for Glasgow’s Allotments

Wellbeing: A Healthier City

Glasgow Allotment Forum’s primary aim is to promote the value of allotments together with the purposes and needs that plot-holding serves for our members and their local communities. Although growing food is an important element of their activity many plotholders also value the contribution that plotholding makes to their psychological and physical well-being. Plots provide access to a quiet, green space in which people can be creative, productive and active. Many plotholders value the autonomy and freedom from stress they experience in designing and maintaining their own gardens.

Inclusion: Resilient and Empowered Neighbourhoods

Well run allotment sites foster inclusion. They create communities of a type, and on a scale, that encourages interaction – one Iraqi plotholder remarked ,” It reminds me of my village.” For those suffering from social isolation allotments provide a shared practical focus that engenders conversations and exchanges. Most sites have communal plots with schools, NGOs and self-help groups being plotholders in their own right. Sites currently provide outdoor learning opportunities for young people, enjoyable experiences for people with dementia and a safe, therapeutic space for those struggling with a range of health and social issues.

Green Practices: A Sustainable and Low Carbon City

There is a strong commitment to sustainable practices in the allotment community. Improving local bio-diversity, expanding organic food production and recycling/upcycling are all key activities. Wildlife areas with ponds and native plants are evident on many sites. Bee keeping has become increasingly popular. Allotments have a long history of conserving urban greenspace.

Co-working: A Well Governed City

GAF looks to the future of urban gardening and the ongoing use, preservation and expansion of greenspace in our City, where allotments are an essential element in local networks for food-growing and place-making. We want to see a strategy for allotments that builds on the momentum generated by recent legislation through participation and inclusion where Council officers and plot-holders work together to ensure that allotments associations are run effectively to serve all their members and provide support for developing and maintaining the value of greenspace for their local communitiies.

Let us know what you think of it  – we welcome your comments.

What is clear from the visits is that relatively little is known about our allotment sites. There tends to be a rather stereotypical view about what we do and who we are based on a past that is long gone. We are planning to  visit all the Glasgow sites to talk about what you want for the future and how GAF can support you. We also want to know about your site – to find out some basic facts and figures. Whilst we know that allotments already make the kinds of contributions that we’ve cited in the  draft manifesto we need to collect the evidence to back up our claims.

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.”