Inaugural AGM

London's oldest surviving allotment is facing the threat of being built on thanks to plans by its landlord to construct a new housing development on part of the allotment site. 

We desperately need to raise funds to pay for legal and specialist advice to help save our much loved allotments. 
If you can spare just a few pound we would be very grateful for your help and support.

In early September 2016 the charity, Pathways, contacted plotholders at Northfield Allotments in Ealing to announce its proposal to build on 10% of the allotments. The development would include a five to six story block of social housing and four houses for sale to help fund the development.

Northfield Allotments are the oldest allotments in London. They were given by the Bishop of London to the people of Ealing in 1832, and are held as a permanent endowment. The charity Pathways is our landlord and the site is managed by a committee of seven plotholders. There are 141 plots.


The plotholders are a diverse range of ages and nationalities. Twenty nine of our plotholders live in flats – this is their only garden. We have around 50 children who have a safe place to play and learn about fruit and veg and get a chance to see tadpoles, stag beetles, bats and hedgehogs.
There are more than 25 pensioners who have a place to grow their own food and there is always company, someone to talk to. You are never alone when you have an allotment. People are friendly here and we share seedlings and produce.

We have counted 27 different nationalities – the only qualification to getting a plot is a love of gardening and the patience to wait on our waiting list (currently 72 people).


The hedgerow around the site is around 900m long and has been designated, by Ealing Borough council, a SINC - Site of Interest for Nature Conservation. It is an important and safe habitat for our hedgehogs, many nesting birds and insects. The allotments are a habitat for stag beetles, which are endangered and protected. With perfect timing the many visitors to our Halloween open day saw our bats flying around the site catching night flying insects.


On the 25th September at a special general meeting, the plotholders unanimously voted to oppose Pathways’ plans to concrete over the allotments.
We understand that social housing is important – but so are green open spaces. It shouldn’t have to be a choice of one or the other. We believe Pathways’ trustees have not fully considered alternatives to their proposal to ‘temporarily’ move 18 residents into what will be a permanent development on the allotments.

We believe a permanent endowment should be permanent.


The original allotments were much larger than they are today: 60% of the allotments were lost in the 1970s due to compulsory purchase by the council and building by Pathways. Our concern is that if planning permission is granted this time around it will be easier to lose more allotment land in the future as the pressure for housing so close to a Crossrail station increases.

When we lose green space we never get it back.


  • Please write to your local councillors to let them know what you think of the proposal.
  • Write to the Ealing Gazette and Ealing and Northfield forums.
  • Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with what is going on.
  • We need specialist help, especially once the plans are submitted to Ealing Council. This will cost money. So, please help by donating whatever you can to our fighting fund.

Please help us protect the allotments for another 184 years.

Many thanks for all your help and support.

The Ealing Dean Allotment Society.

I’m going to leave the final word to Fran, one of our plotholders (who will lose her plot if the development goes ahead)…

“My allotment means a lot to me - we live in a third floor social housing flat with no access to a garden of our own. In 18 months my daughter and I have transformed the plot from weeds and brambles to our own little patch of heaven and my daughter has learned so much she never would have been able to before, from where our food comes from to the lifecycle of the frog - and she now wants to be a gardener when she grows up.”

The next plot holder meeting will be the inaugural AGM of the Ealing Dean Allotment Society:
Tuesday 14th January 2014
Start time 19.30
The Main Hall,
Northfields Community Centre,
71a Northcroft Road,
W13 9SS.
Back in September, the Pathways Board of Trustees gave approval for a move to self-management at Haslemere and Northfields Allotments. For this to work they wanted us to set up a society with an elected chair, treasurer and secretary.
A society must have a constitution – a set of rules and regulations on how it will conduct itself and work with its members. So, we asked for volunteers and a steering group was put together of nine plot holders.
Paul McConnell (plot 218) spent a great deal of time looking at the different types of constitutions already in use by allotment and garden societies. He looked at best practice and has ensured that a future committee has a constitution acceptable to the charity commission.
The constitution is 8 pages long. So we have set up this site and posted it there for you to read. (Any members not on email will be sent it in the post.)
As a plot holder at Northfields Allotments - we would ask you to take some time to read through this proposed constitution. These things are pretty dry and boring. But, we want to get it right and have something that is acceptable to plot holders.
Over the last two months the steering group have debated and discussed the content and we believe we have a constitution that will work. We hope you agree. You can read it here:
We have booked a room on Tuesday 14th January 2014 at the Northfields Community centre to give you a chance to ask us about the constitution, make any changes and ask you to vote on accepting it.
If plotholders vote to accept the constitution we will then need to vote for a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary for the society. 
Currently the following nominations have been received:
Chair: Christina Fox
Treasurer: Kim Tompsett
Secretary: Christine Charles and Crispin Harris (joint secretaries)
If you would like to stand for any of these posts or would like to be on the committee please let us know before the meeting - contact details have been sent to you by email, forum or post.
This is your chance to decide who will run the plots and how. We look forward to seeing you at this important meeting.
Christina Fox
On behalf of the steering group
  • Christine Charles (plot 166)
  • Simon Coleman (plot 198)
  • Christina Fox (plot 172A)
  • Chris Gilson (plot 238A)
  • Crispin Harris (plot 208)
  • Paul McConnell (plot 218)
  • Kim Tompsett (plot 191)
  • Mark Tompsett (plot 191)
  • Jon Wilkins  (plot 176A)