Leeds Allotments a joy to behold
Leeds allotments are a joy to behold, a comment made by all of the judges of the Leeds Allotment Competition. The Leeds & District Allotment Gardeners Federation (LDAGF), one of the largest and most active Allotment Federations nationally, have organised, managed and judged the Leeds Allotment Competition on behalf of Leeds City Council (LCC) for more than 30 years now. There are some amazing allotment sites and plots in Leeds, their quality always increasing, making it difficult task to pick the winners. However the following were judged recently as the Best in Leeds 2013:
- Lidgett Lane Allotments: Best allotment site in Leeds
- Brian Jenner, Hayleys Field Allotments: Best allotment plot in Leeds
- Joan Waite and Bridget Beer: Best newcomers in Leeds
- Alan Sidebottom, Seacroft Hall Allotments: Best LCC plot in Leeds
Ros Dunlevy, Hollin Lane Allotments -Special Certificate.
The new Alan Gledhill Award was this year awarded for the most aesthetically pleasing site, shared by Swillington and Calverley allotments. St Anthony’s School, Beeston was awarded Best Schools Plot in Leeds. The criteria for judging have also been regularly updated to take into consideration the requirements of modern day allotment gardening e.g. composting, water retention, in some cases toilet facilities and many other modern day environmental measures.
Download a summary of the results here.
A good 2/3 of the allotment sites in Leeds are self-managed (leasing the allotment site and the allotment association managing it). Self-managed sites cater for almost 80% of all plot-holders in Leeds. The people on them are proud of their sites, one of the reasons why the quality of these sites is generally so high. One other benefit to the city is that the 3,100 gardeners on these sites create a small profit for the Council whilst the 680 gardeners on the Council run sites rack up a loss for the local authority.
It is unfortunate that there has not been more participation in the competition from sites directly managed by the LCC this year. Plans are afoot to create a whole new competition category for schools next year.
Phil Gomersall, LDAGF Publicity Officer