This is the first of what I hope to become a regular guests post spot from various sheddies, thanks to Simon Kirby for this.
A Review of the Local Government Association allotment management best practice guide Growing in the Community by our allotments correspondent:
2008 is the centenary of the Allotments Act, the legislation that gives local councils the power to provide allotments. To mark a hundred years of allotmenting the Local Government Association have published a second edition of their allotment management best practice guide Growing in the Community. As you’d imagine, the guide has some shedtastic advice for allotment managers on that allotment-essential: the shed. The guide’s written mainly for council officers so there’s a lot of talk in the first sections about “seeing allotments in the wider context”, “promoting social and environmental wellbeing”, and “achieving sustainable development” but it also translates this into language every allotment sheddie understands – that allotmenteers enjoy hanging out together in sheds built from scrap. Here’s what the guide says about sheds:
A shed on an allotment site serves many purposes. It provides shelter in inclement weather, it may have a small stove for brewing tea or coffee, it is a storage place for tools and clothing or for special equipment for the disabled, and it may even be a place to sit and relax with other plot holders. In short it is almost a necessity.
Plotholders frequently construct their own sheds using discarded or recycled materials, and whilst this is generally a sustainable and laudable practice, some degree of sympathetic regulation may be necessary to prevent the site from appearing too untidy or presenting a hazard. Authorities are entitled to require permission for erection of sheds within tenancy agreements and to specify details regarding their size, construction and location, but should not impose unreasonable restriction or specifications. The report of the Allotment Advisory Committee in 1950 recommended that the procedure for application for sheds be made as simple as possible and this is also true today.
So pandering a little too much perhaps to the rule-mongers and tidywives, but still pretty supportive of the traditional allotment shed. If you’re interested in getting hold of a copy – and anyone with an interest in allotment management should have one – it’s called Growing in the Community and published by the Local Government Association, code EN038, ISBN 978-1-84049-605-5, at Â£15 for councils and allotments associations.