June 28, 2017
In the mid-17th century, the earliest seeds of the modern allotment movement were sown by a radical group led by religious reformer, Gerrard Winstanley, who began challenging contemporary notions of land ownership by asserting the right of everyone to cultivate land for food. And so it continues to this day. Scotland’s allotmenteers launched a new publication at their annual conference earlier this month. Galvanising Grassroots aims to inspire everyone to get digging and enjoy the pleasure of seeing things grow. Groups like this one in Wellhouse show us what’s possible.
To download a copy of Galvanising Grassroots – Grow Your Own Allotment Site
“True freedom lies where a man receives his nourishment and preservation, and that is in the use of the earth.” Gerrard Winstanley, 1652
Allotments are in demand. More than ever, people want to be part of the allotment community to experience the enjoyment of cultivating land, making new friends, sharing ideas, being out in the fresh air and keeping healthy.
Allotments are an integral part of society as relevant today as hundreds of years ago. Back in the 17th century ‘The Diggers’ challenged land ownership and demanded rights to cultivate. The quest for working the land for ordinary people’s well-being and enjoyment has been an essential component of social history that is as relevant today as it was for Gerrard Winstanley’s Diggers in 1649. With Scotland’s Land Reform and Community Empowerment legislation providing further opportunities for communities to develop allotments, now is the time for people to “enjoy the earth”.
On a typical Scottish allotment you will find energetic people both fulfilling their own capabilities and enjoying collective recreation with their families and friends. Allotments are places of equality and inclusivity without social, cultural or ethnic boundaries.
Allotments are not just about growing things but can include ground for orchards, ponds, community huts and social gathering. They are places where people can choose to socialise or be places that provide therapeutic quiet contemplation.
A grassroots network of allotment action makers are coming together to respond to this growing tide of interest and this guide is intended to help an understanding of the purpose, benefit and operations of allotments as well as collectively galvanising and growing support to deliver more allotments for Scotland.