Press Office

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.

 

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.”


Hello and welcome to the Ealing Dean Allotment Society press office where you can find all of the latest news about Northfields Allotments.

If you are a journalist, blogger or other member of the media and wish to get in touch, please drop a line to Ian Burge at ian.burge@ealingdean.co.uk or on 07789 515881. 

And don't forget that you can also stay up to date with our campaign to prevent the development of the allotments by:

You can read all of our press releases below and below that, links to what the wider press have reported.

 

Press Articles

06/08/2017 : Protesters fight plans to build houses on one of Britain's oldest allotments - The Daily Express
03/08/2017 : Protesters are fighting plans to build houses on London’s oldest allotments.... - The London Economic
02/08/2017 : Green space v social housing: the fight for the future of London's oldest allotments - The Guardian
03/07/2017 : Record attendance at London’s oldest allotments’ summer open day - This is Local London
03/07/2017 : Record Numbers at Northfields Allotments Open Day - EalingToday
03/07/2017 : Green-fingered Northfields Allotments campaigners have Labour MP support - Ealing Times
12/05/2017 : Row over plans to dig up London's oldest allotments in Ealing.... - London Evening Standard
10/04/2017 : Northfields Allotments given asset of community value status - EalingToday
11/01/2017 : Northfields campaigners step up fight over allotments - EalingToday
04/01/2017 : Can self-management safeguard the future of allotments? - The Guardian
15/12/2016 : London's oldest allotments threatened - Kitchen Garden
25/11/2016 : Northfields Allotments in danger - Neighbours' Paper (see page 11)
18/11/2016 : Charity building on London's 'oldest allotments' in Northfields reduce loss of land but.... - Ealing Gazette
17/11/2016 : Northfields Allotments Building Plans Reaffirmed By Landlord - EalingToday
15/11/2016 : Pathways to build on part of Northfields Allotments despite objections - Ealing Times
31/10/2016 : Brave residents visit spooktacular Northfield Allotments' inaugural Hallowe’en Pumpkin Trail - Ealing Times
31/10/2016 : Thousands Enjoy Spooky Goings On at Northfields Allotments - EalingToday
21/10/2016 : Row sparked over plans to build on London's oldest allotments - London Evening Standard
26/09/2016 : London's oldest allotments at risk - London Live
16/09/2016 : Northfields residents rise up against Pathways' proposed plans.... - Ealing Times
15/09/2016 : Northfields Allotments Campaign Gets Underway - EalingToday
15/09/2016 : History professor backs campaigners fighting to save 'London's oldest' Northfields allotments - Ealing Gazette
12/09/2016 : Hundreds sign petition to save 'London's oldest' allotments in Ealing.... - Ealing Gazette
06/09/2016 : Northfields Allotments Under Threat - EalingToday