The answer lies in the soil

Mix together blue skies and sunshine – and the Chelsea Flower Show – and it’s no surprise to hear that business has picked up somewhat at our local garden centres. A lot of people also lost plants and shrubs to both winter frosts and the spring deluge.

But away from the vagaries of our little ‘Eden’s on Earth’ there are a lot of very patient people waiting to hear if they have finally been allotted an allotment! Somewhere – in this land of rising prices – where they can grow their own.

I climbed up the hill in Larkhall to meet – at the area’s allotments – someone who is very passionate about the role such long-established community spaces can play in our lives and how important it is that more land is found to create them.

She’s Jacky Wilkinson from the B&NES Allotments Association. It’s a body independent from the Council and representing 368 members (plus about 180 linked members) and growing!  

The Council runs the majority of allotment sites in Bath, and Parish Councils run them in the outer areas. There are some private sites as well.

Jacky told me that there is a huge groundswell of interest in allotments and community gardens and that the association represents a wide and diverse community of ‘allotmenteerers’.

The association is currently campaigning for more local food growing space and better management and protection of the existing sites.

Not only that, she says, but trying to actively respond to Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergencies by encouraging better and more sustainable ways to garden.

You can contact the association via


  1. Thanks for that piece Richard.
    I live in a village outside of Bath, moved here just over a year ago, I had an allotment at my old address so wanted another but they are so hard to get. My village do not have any allotment sites but I found a site operated by the Hartley farm shop at Winsley. Its a 10 minute drive away and there I can concentrate on my ‘No Dig’ allotment, so no digging but some good results. Three cheers for Charles Dowding the local ‘no dig’ expert.

  2. “Dig for victory”, actually!

    Former B&NES Senior Conservation Officer, Jacky Wilkinson, I presume.

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