Brentham Allotments is a council owned site in Ealing, West London and home to a community of 140 enthusiastic plot holders from diverse backgrounds and ages, including a plot let to the 6th Ealing Beavers group who are learning to grow things from an early age.
The site is managed by volunteers who are local residents, voted into roles each year at the AGM. In 2015 we agreed to become a locally managed site, with the Management Group taking responsibility for rent collection and routine site maintenance on behalf of the Council.
More than ever, during Covid, the allotments have been valued as a place for peace, healthy exercise and well-being. Plots are also popular with people who don’t have gardens at home e.g. increasing numbers of flat dwellers. Our waiting list has grown to 60+ and we plan to offer small, starter plots in 2022 to give more people the opportunity to try out gardening, supported by experienced growers who are happy to share their skills.
Brentham is a great community hub – with a Trading hut run by volunteers selling essential items at reasonable prices to plot holders and local residents. We hold an annual plant sale where seedlings raised by plot holders are sold on, with the proceeds going to allotment funds. In summer plot holders come together for a social event – an opportunity to share food from around the world, relax and get to know each other better. We have work parties throughout the year to tackle essential jobs, and annual / general meetings where plot holders can discuss proposals and ask questions of the Management Group. Outside of organised events, it is a friendly site with people helping each other and socialising in this beautiful space.
Our site is next to the Brentham Meadows and Brent River Park and it has been surveyed for potential to be designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. We plan to start a Wildlife Group to encourage more biodiversity on plots and in communal areas, and to promote greener gardening. We already have a ‘green loo’, wildlife pond and log piles. Ideas for the future include: planting a native hedge and creating a scrape in a boggy area with wildlife planting around.
Once we have installed the borehole, we have a 'wish list' of priority projects including: creating raised beds for people with a disability and offering small plots to those who might want to downsize in order to continue growing, plus improvements to other site facilities (see financial forecast).