The allotment site covers 2.2 hectares (5.8 acres) with 60 plots varying from scruffy to pristine, but all growing a wide range of fruit, vegetables and flowers. Some plot holders are very conventional. Whilst some more are experimental, but all can be relied on for advice, support and spare plants.
Although allotments have existed in some form since Anglo Saxon times, the current system took root in the 19th century, when land was given over to the labouring poor to help provide much needed food. In 1908, local authorities were given the statutory duty of providing allotments according to demand. The Land Settlement Act of 1919 extended the duty to include returning service men. In 1925, the Allotments Act established “statutory” allotments which a local authority cannot sell without ministerial permission.
The Willoughby Road Allotments became a statutory allotment site in October 1957, although a proportion of the site was given over to the health trust for car parking at the rear of Pilgrim hospital in February 1994. The Butterfly Hospice Trust acquired an area of the site that was not occupied in order to build the Hospice on Rowan Way.
In April 2013, following a very steep rent rise, tenants on the site voted to establish an Association and run the site independently. With a thriving association, we have been able to keep the rents low and undertake improvements on site, including the setting up of a community and wildlife area and the building thereon.The new community hub and site facilities, comprising of a kitchen, meeting area and disabled toilet was paid for from numerous grants, and was officially opened in July 2018, by the Mayor of Boston, Councillor Judith Skinner. A dedication to plot holder, Mandy Bryant, was also made, following her sad passing in September 2017, thanking her for her hard work and ongoing support, alongside her husband Mick, who remains to be an avid and enthusiastic plot holder and association member.
Although not run by the Local Authority on a day-to-day basis, we are still subject to the rules of our tenancy agreement but we do receive a considerable amount of help and encouragement from Council.
As we speak the allotments are full, with a short waiting list. We are hoping with this new website, designed by Quinstone UK to not only attract new members but to show a wider audience more about the allotments & how to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Following a recently successful grant application, we now have a modular building which facilitates a toilet, kitchen & meeting room with outdoor cooking & seating area on our community plots. It’s our aim to be more involved with our local community, our members litter pick throughout the town, assist Boston in Bloom, being on the judging route the last two years helping the town win a gold award from the RHS East Midlands in Bloom.
Also we were the first allotment site in Lincolnshire to open for the NGS (National Garden Scheme) last helping to raise funds for various charities. We have regular working parties to keep the site as tidy as possible & there has been a vast improvement over the last three years. Thanks to everyone who helps out & also to everyone who supports the committee in their work. Once again a big welcome to our new digital beginning, have a look round, leave comments, suggestions, but most of all come & enjoy our humble allotments.