|The overgrown allotment plots at Gladstone Park|
I got my plot after a 2 year wait. Everything you wrote yesterday could have been about Gladstone Park allotments also. Had my plot been allocated back in the autumn, I could have made a good start on clearing the ground of the dense couch grass, horseradish, bindweed etc, getting them to rot over the winter and preparing the plot for planting. The council rejected my request for help with clearing it.
I am aware of other newbies with worse plots which they have been told they must clear and dispose of the rubbish themselves – including bricks, broken glass, abandoned contents of sheds. Although there have been several waves this spring of allotments being released to newcomers, a number of allotments remain abandoned and dilapidated. I’ve attached a couple of photos of examples but there are more. As you say, you can see why newcomers become overwhelmed and give up, perpetuating the general neglect.
The council has no idea who rents the council sheds.
The toilet apparently has not worked for some time and the internal key was lost, I don’t know the current situation. The on-site allotment offices are abandoned and locked up. More could be done to organise communally beneficial services such as bulk purchase of compost, maybe have a large polytunnel on the overgrown plot which used to be communal – like the one they showed on Gardeners World recently, where the wider community can get involved in the growing process.
The on site supervisor does her best with the lack of council support. There are incidents of theft. Apparently the allotment key fits every padlock on all the Brent allotments so there is no knowing who is coming in legitimately or not. Updating entry security is long overdue.