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.

Our Halloween Pumpkin Trail will be on Saturday 28th October 2017 from 3.30pm - 7.30pm. Please come along to see this wonderful place and enjoy the spooky fun.

https://www.gofundme.com/ealingdean

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.

OUR COMMUNITY

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).

OUR WILDLIFE

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.

NO CHOICE?

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.

OUR CONCERN

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.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • 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.”


PRESS RELEASE

10th April 2017

London's oldest allotments recognised as asset of community value despite development threat

London's oldest allotment site has received official recognition from Ealing Council as an asset of community value (ACV) under the Localism Act 2011.

The earliest date that plots were rented out was March 1833. The original book of tenancy agree-ments is kept in the London Metropolitan Archives. The allotments were divided into North, West and East: North being the area which is now Dean Gardens; West being the main area of allotments on the other side of Northfield Avenue, now housing estates; and East is the now-named Northfields Allotments.
The plots to the East

Last night (Monday 27th March 2017) we took the campaign to save London’s oldest allotments to the bi-annual forum of the councillors of Walpole Ward in Ealing, the electoral ward where Northfields Allotments is located.

In a packed meeting that was greatly swelled by a large number of plotholders from the allotments, Ealing Dean Allotment Society chairwoman Christina Fox gave an impassioned speech as to why we so strongly opposed any further development on the site.

Christina Fox presenting Northfields Allotments' case at the Northfield Ward Forum

Northfield Allotments has a wealth of secrets hidden within its boundaries. In 1832 when it was created the allotment was called “Ealing Dean Common allotments” and that name continued for over 150 years until around the 1990’s.

In November 2016 Simon Coleman started cleaning up an area of bare ground along the perimeter of the allotment. He realised that there were layers of rubbish dating back to the 1960’s. He decided to dig deeper in the hope he would find older artefacts,

There are areas of the allotment hedgerow that will be replanted. This winter we planted new native hedgerow whips in "Gaps" by plots 241, 224, 213 and 196. I have recently been digging in an area by plot 158. It is necessary for us to remove all the rubbish in the hedge before we plant the whips

PRESS RELEASE

9th January 2017

Petition opposing development of London's oldest allotments gains 1,000 signatures in a week

 

A new petition opposing plans to build on part of London's oldest allotments has received more than 1,000 signatures during its first week.

Northfield Allotments Halloween Open Day 2016
It’s been nearly a month since the Halloween Pumpkin Walk and we’ve all recovered enough to talk about it.

We all did a huge amount of preparation for this, especially Dominic and Fran: there were 150 pumpkins to be carved, plots to be decorated, witches caves to be built, preserves and cakes to be made, the lucky and yucky dips to assemble and lights to put up.

At 3pm, we opened our gates and it seemed that all of Ealing came to visit us, nearly 2,000 people in all.

Northfield Allotments Halloween Open Day 2016

PRESS RELEASE

15th November 2016

Plans to build on London's oldest allotments reaffirmed by landlord

Plans to build on the oldest surviving allotments in London were reaffirmed by the site’s landlord at a public consultation this weekend despite fierce local objections. 

Today Emily is answering our questions. 

Tell us about yourself

I live in Hanwell with my partner Drew, my six-month old baby Tommy, and a three-legged cat named Bob. I work in a library and in my spare time enjoy walking, baking and beekeeping.

Hives and poppies Northfields Allotment

Pages