Allotments v Public land v Private land

Bear in mind that allotments are fenced, but you can’t sell the produce. Growers on public land may sell their produce but perhaps not fence their plot. But if you grow on private land (your own, a friend’s or maybe someone like Yorkshire Water or a school) – you may be able to do both – if you want to. See Ownership

You can find all the Leeds allotment sites on the Map. Where we have a contact for the committee, this is shown in the notes (click upper left corner for the notes list). The Leeds Allotment Federation (LAF) may also be able to help – we have a contact on our committee.

Allotments are a specific type of deisignated growing space (though sometimes plots are known as allotments even when they are not offically registered). Those on local authority land are classed as either temporary or statutory, and are protected under the Allotment Act. The official line is that you’re not allowed to sell food grown in an official allotment (though you can barter with any excess).

Allotments and the law

All allotments (city controlled and self managed) are subject to local rules and traditions. Make sure you check with the allotment committee and (if the site is council-owned) with the local parks and/or allotments officers, so you’ll know in advance what will be expected of you.

For example; you may be required to keep your plot more tidy than you really want to (this is down to what your neighbours, the committee and/or Parks feel is reasonable). 

You may not be allowed to keep livestock. If you are, in Leeds it will be chickens and rabbits only.

There are no restrictions on numbers working a city controlled allotment, in fact groups are encouraged, but some community gardens based in self-managed allotments are restricted – to, say, 5 volunteers at a time. 

On the plus side you’ll get security and, usually, lots of support, seeds, plants, advice, and tools to borrow and lend. Remember to check if the site has running water.  

A full allotment is 250m2 but most sites offer half and quarter plots, or you might want to start by sharing with someone else. You can grow a lot of veg on 50 square metres. 

Council allotment holders are required to maintain their plots to a good standard. Bear in mind that many who take on an allotment give up relatively soon – usually because it proved to be too much work, and/or was too far from home. Most sites therefore contain a few derelict plots, but all free plots – no matter what state they are in – are offered to the waiting list.  Some are taken on but many are refused because it will take too much work to bring them up to scratch. Anyone taking on a derelict plot will be given time to bring the plot up to standard, which will then be routinely inspected. Any plots which are not being cultivated will be given notice to quit and the plot offered to the waiting list.  

(It would also help the Allotments team if everyone please numbered their plots, as set out in the LCC rules)!

See Document Downloads for Allotment Rules etc.

If in doubt contact

Allotment rents

More information

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