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The plots of land are rented out to individuals who often use the green space to grow vegetables, fruit or plants – while helping to reduce their carbon footprint in the process. Barratt Homes, a property developer, has conducted a study to find out which UK cities offer the most allotment gardens, the places with the highest demand, and cities with the most online searches for the green spaces.
According to the research, Carlisle, which is in Cumberland, has been ranked in first place for the city with the most allotment gardens.
The area offers 61 allotment gardens per 100,000 people, making it the city with the most allotments in the UK.
In second place is Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, with 35 allotments per 100,000 people, across 1.3 million square metres of space.
In third place is Winchester, in the county of Hampshire, which offers 33 allotments per 100,000 people. The city is known for its wide range of culinary offerings, including various food markets selling locally grown produce. The Winchester Farmers’ Market is one of the largest farmers’ markets across the UK.
London has the most allotments, with a total of 788, however, the data works out at just 10 per 100,000 people, meaning the city does not qualify for a place in the top 10.
With an increase in demand for allotments, Barratt Homes researched the number of online searches which were conducted in the last three years – from 2019 to 2021.
The study researched the monthly online Google searches for allotments – which compared searches per 1,000 people, while taking into account the difference in population sizes.
The research highlighted Norwich as the city with the highest increase in searches, with the data showing 49 individuals per 1,000 people searched for allotments on average each month during 2019, with that number rising to 72 the following year, and increasing to 74 in 2021.
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Cambridge saw the biggest rise in search volume, with an increase of 125 percent between 2019 and 2021.
While Oxford and Bristol were among the cities which showed the most consistent search volume for allotments over the last three years.
The south of England was identified as the region with the most allotment space to offer across England, according to data collected from an Ordnance Survey, which is Great Britain’s national mapping agency.
The agency provides accurate and up-to-date geographic data across Great Britain.
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Ranked at the top is the south east with 1,961 allotment gardens, and the south west in second place with 1,394.
Yorkshire and Humber were ranked in third place for their yield of garden allotments, with a total of 1,355.
How the research was conducted
To conduct the research, Barratt Homes submitted Freedom of Information requests to around 100 local councils across the UK to gain insight into the current waiting times for allotments.
The property developer also analysed data from ordnance survey to research the number and size of allotments, while using Google Adwords – a online tool for highlighting key words on search engine results – to identify search volumes of allotments across the last three years.
Former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who is known to be an avid gardener and allotment holder, is reported to have an allotment in north London where he has grown fruit to make homemade jam.
Top 10 UK cities offering the most garden allotments:
1. Carlisle – 61 per 100,000 people
2. Wakefield – 35 per 100,000 people
3. Winchester – 33 per 100,000 people
4. Chelmsford – 32 per 100,000 people
5. Sunderland – 28 per 100,000 people
6. Bristol – 27 per 100,000 people
7. Oxford – 26 per 100,000 people
8. York – 26 per 100,000 people
9. Worcester – 25 per 100,000 people
10. Cambridge – 23 per 100,000 people
How to apply for an allotment
To apply for an allotment, first contact your local authority and they will provide a list of local sites where applications can be added to a waiting list.
The Government website also offers a search tool for locating local allotment sites.
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