Allotments provide the opportunity for you to grow own produce and to get plenty of fresh air and exercise. An allotment is a piece of land which is wholly or mainly cultivated for the production of fruit and vegetables; they come in a variety of shapes and sizes and the size of your plot will determine the rent you will pay.
Allotments provide opportunities for everyone and many people with physical and mental health issues can find a particular advantage from the health and social benefits of an allotment; the allotment can provide a place of relaxation and offer solace to many.There are many benefits of working on an allotment for plot holders and their families as it provides the opportunity to enjoy green spaces away from the pressures of modern living. Working at your own pace provides regular physical exercise and occupies the mind. The produce grown can contribute toward a healthy balanced diet and being part of the gardening community brings an opportunity to meet and share experiences with people from all walks of life.
Allotments can be a large responsibility and if you are new to food growing it is worth considering other places to grow food first. This includes growing at home or in community or shared garden.
Applying for an allotment in Gateshead
Gateshead Council is an allotment provider who can grant renewable one year leases for plots of land for cultivation for residents of Gateshead only.
To apply for an allotment please complete the allotment application form and return to Customer Service Unit, Civic Centre, Regent Street, Gateshead, NE8 1HH.
Applicants can apply to be on the waiting list for a maximum of two allotments. View a list of allotment sites.
The Allotment Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding contract and it is important that all allotment holders read the standard terms and conditions thoroughly before applying for allotments. For instance, the Agreement explains the importance of paying rent and the conditions of use of the plot in respect of fencing, buildings, animals, fires and standards of cultivation.
A contract is needed to ensure correct management and use of plots. It establishes the roles and responsibilities of both the Council, as landlord, and the plot holder.
Standard allotment tenancy terms
Allotment waiting lists in Gateshead
Due to an increasing interest in food growing the numbers of residents applying for allotments exceeds the supply of available sites.
As a result, working with the various allotment associations in the Borough, we've reviewed the allocation and management of allotments. The Allotment Review has resulted in a new Allotment Strategy with the following aims.
- To reduce overall waiting lists
- Introduce a consistent proactive approach to management
- Introduce minimum standards for quality of fencing / structures
- Provide guidance regarding roles, responsibilities and expectations
- Encourage directly managed allotments to form allotment associations
We are endeavouring to reduce the waiting list in a number of ways including encouraging plot-sharing schemes and providing land for shared community allotments. Although this will not be available on all sites as facilities on sites vary.
Gateshead Allotment Societies
Over 50% of allotments are managed by allotments societies. Two of the largest are Gateshead and District Allotment Association and the Whickham Allotment Association
Applications for allotments should still be directed to the Council. But for information the contact details for the Gateshead allotment societies are listed below.
Gateshead and District Allotment Association
John Cole, 329 Rawling Road, Gateshead, telephone number 07876 988703.
Whickham Allotment Association
John Osbourne , 8 Orange Grove, Whickham NE16 4TA, telephone number 07875 623951.
Eric Grainger, 39 Kingsway, Sunniside, NE16 5NW
Bleach Green Allotment Association
Mr Brian Findlay, 31 Parkhead Gardens, Winlaton, Blaydon, Tyne and Wear, NE21 6NP. Telephone 0191 4140714.
Fell Bank Allotment Association
Alex Greener, 72 Harris Bank, Birtley, DH3 2LN, telephone number 0191 410 8951.
Strothers Hill Allotment Association
Mrs Helen Eglon, 25 Orchard Avenue, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear, NE39 1EF. Telephone 01207 542 060.
New Sands Allotment Association
Mr A Field, 1 Bates Lane, Blaydon, NE21 5TG
The Council is encouraging the formation of new allotment associations where there are currently none. Groups wishing to establish an Association receive a discount in their rent for managing allotment applicants on behalf of the Council.
Independent allotment associations also have the ability to apply for external funding to improve sites although in terms of responsibilities they are placed under a greater duty of care under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957.
The Council is happy to offer advice and assistance to any group wishing to start an allotment association or run a community allotment and is willing to provide assistance in setting up a Community or Allotment Association.
Health and safety on allotments
It is important that Allotment holders are aware of the Health and Safety implications of being an allotment holder as there are various hazards which can exist.
- Personal safety – keeping your allotment well cultivated and free from rubbish contributes to a safer environment for yourself and any visitors to your plot.
- Unfortunately it is a fact of life that vandalism can occur on allotment sites which is often mindless and random – whilst there is an inclination to erect high fencing to protect your plot and possessions experience has shown that this only encourages vandalism and theft and that it is those allotment sites which are open with little or no internal fencing which suffer the least
- Pesticides & fertilisers – You need to be aware of the harmful effects of these products not only on the food you are growing but the danger of them falling into the wrong hands and then becoming a danger to yourself and visitors to the site.
The law relating to allotments
There is a wealth of law which protects the provision and use of allotments, including:
Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908
Land Settlement Facilities Act 1919
Allotments Act 1922,1925,1950
Local Government Act 1972
Human Rights Act 1998
NSALG – National Society of Allotment and leisure gardens
FCFCG – Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens
Gateshead Voluntary Organisations Council
For advice on volunteering and setting up a community group.
Groundwork North East