Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:46 UK

Plans to free-up allotment land

Allotment
Waiting lists for allotments have dramatically increased in recent years

Public bodies have been ordered by a minister to see if extra land can be made available for public allotments.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said waiting lists had increased "dramatically" in recent years to almost 3,000 people.

He said the issue had been raised by many in discussions on food policy.

He added that it was "absolutely right" that the government and other public bodies should explore how more land could be made available.

He said: "Fresh food isn't the only benefit to be had from tending an allotment of course.

We are happy to see the Scottish Government taking an interest in promoting the provision of allotments
Cosla spokesman

"They encourage physical activity, offer a place for individuals to relax and are also valuable to the local community and environment.

"I am asking a number of public bodies to consider how the land they manage for the Scottish Government could be made available to local authorities to increase the number of allotments in Scotland."

Scotland has more than 200 allotment sites, mostly council-owned.

They contain a total of 6,300 plots and waiting lists vary across the country, with 1,000 people waiting in Edinburgh, 650 in Glasgow and 300 in Aberdeen.

The move was welcomed by the local authority umbrella body Cosla.

A spokesman said: "We are happy to see the Scottish Government taking an interest in promoting the provision of allotments. We look forward to working in partnership with the government to consider how best this can be achieved."




SEE ALSO
Organic allotment site is 'first'
17 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Pride in their plots of land
05 Sep 00 |  Scotland
Allotments to be bulldozed
05 Sep 00 |  Scotland
Digging in to save allotments
17 Aug 00 |  Scotland
Allotments under threat say MPs
24 Jun 98 |  Politics

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