Well, not free as in gratis but there are over 1,000 allotment plots available across the city. Why? It’s thought that people have left allotments, or not renewed their lease due to rent increases, difficult growing seasons and/or changes in allotment management. The BBC have published this article which summarises the situation.
WANT A PLOT? This is the perfect opportunity to find one.
Click Request an Allotment
Click the tab at the top of the Birmingham City Council (BCC) Allotments page or Birmingham and District Allotment Council (BDAC) page. The BCC allotment team will then send you a list of your local plots with contact numbers for you to call.
Call 0121 303 3038 and follow option 5 then option 1. Ask for ‘available’ allotments in your area. Again you will be sent a list of your local plots.
Potential new tenants can also contact the city council allotment team via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address
And this is a bit maverick, but why not pop down to your local allotment site in person and say you are interested in a plot. If you don’t know where that is, then ask your neighbours or use the ‘Find My Local‘ service on the BCC site (enter your postcode and click on the ‘find my local’ tab at the top of the page).
If your local allotment site doesn’t have a plot free then you’ll be put on a waiting list and contacted when they become available. You can put yourself on a couple of lists for local sites and choose which one you want when it comes up.
Once you have your plot, start slowly. Regular short visits are better than occasional long ones as you’ll find you make more progress and you’re not just digging over the same piece of land each time. Work a manageable area at a time or cover the plot with plastic or cardboard to stop the weeds becoming overwhelming and peel back a bit at a time when you can cultivate and plant it up. Most importantly, don’t let the weather get you down! Get a shed and enjoy the fact you don’t have to water!
Finally, if you don’t want a standard allotment or there aren’t any near you then why not get a group of people together, investigate some free land and set up your own allotment site, community garden or Community Support Agriculture scheme. The Community Land Advisory Service has loads of excellent information on their website, check it out here.