Get growing this National Allotment Week – allotmenteering has such ‘a-lot’ of benefits!

This week is the UK’s twenty first National Allotment Week. We’ve long lost the plot with an obsession for allotments in Wales – waiting lists are growing and growing and the rented patches of land are snapped up as soon as they become available.

That’s because there’s a glut of mental health and physical benefits to nurturing an allotment.

Our Deputy Chief Executive, Louise Tambini, has been a keen allotmenteer at Cardiff’s Pontcanna Permanent Allotments for 15 years.


"Running an allotment is very therapeutic. Spending time there helps me wind down and teaches me new skills in growing, construction and re-purposing items. "It’s so satisfying to see something you have planted as a small seed develop into a wonderful, bountiful plant."

Louise Tambini
Deputy Chief Executive, Keep Wales Tidy

Top ten reasons why having an allotment is a great idea:

  • Allotmenteering is great for combatting loneliness: it’s very sociable. Communities come together and are created at allotments.
  • Sharing and cultivating knowledge and skills, as well as the fruits of your labour, create a wonderful connection with others in the community.
  • Digging and bending are great for physical fitness and staying active.
  • Enjoying the harvest of your allotment is a great way to get through the rainbow of your 5-a-day
  • Growing and trying fresher than fresh ingredients during the current cost of living crisis is also cost effective.
  • Saving gym and personal trainer fees, while also reaping the mental health benefits of exercising in the open air, is extremely satisfying.
  • It’s rewarding to watch your crops, flowers and plants grow, while providing surplus produce for family, friends and the community is really fulfilling.
  • Allotments are the perfect plot for enjoying wildlife and being outdoors.
  • You can enjoy the merits of each season with all each has to offer.
  • Being outdoors is good for the soul and mental well-being

Some of my allotment crops have included 25 butternut squashes one autumn, but as any allotmenteer will tell you, you always get a glut of certain crops. Make sure you always have freezer space and don't be afraid to try new recipes with crops! My experimenting has included blackcurrant gin; rhubarb and custard blondies; blackcurrant energy bars; agrodolce [a sweet and sour Italian condiment, often shelved alongside Balsamic]; beetroot risotto; courgette, lemon and lime drizzle cake; homemade and homegrown prosecco from my vine and many more!

Louise Tambini
Deputy Chief Executive, Keep Wales Tidy

My allotment enables me to sit and listen to wildlife and watch birds feeding and nesting. I enjoy taking the time to just slow down and observe the world around me with nature on my doorstep. Crops are organic and taste great – I don’t think my fresh peas have ever made it home yet!

Louise Tambini
Deputy Chief Executive, Keep Wales Tidy

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