SAGS has received grants totalling over £12000 to carry out an audit of allotments in Scotland. At the moment there is no central source of data and many local authorities are not aware of all the allotment sites within their area. This means that it can be extremely hard for would be allotment gardeners to find an allotment plot and it is also very difficult for a local authority to determine whether there is unsatisfied demand for allotments.
By the end of the audit SAGS hopes to have located every existing allotment site, and to record information regarding the geographical location, area, number of plots, contact details and facilities. SAGS also hopes to write case studies of allotment sites with interesting projects, like involvement with local schools or disabled groups, as examples of good practice. All this information will be made publicly available on the web site and in local libraries and community centres.
About 2/3 of the funding has come from Scottish Natural Heritage and the information gathered by SAGS will be complementary to the audit of all green space in Scottish urban areas which SNH is currently undertaking. The remaining funding has come from a charitable trust. A professional consultant has been appointed to lead the work, but much of the basic labour will be carried out by volunteers from the SAGS membership.
We need as much help as possible from the allotment and gardening community around Scotland to locate allotments so if you know about an allotment site, particularly one outside the major conurbations of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen please complete our online form. Your information will then help us to plan our further work to produce a database and map of sites and to identify examples of sites contributing to biodiversity and to wider community benefits.