Allotments at Maulden
How Maulden Allotments looked during the wet winter of 2013/14 in a gallery of images.
Why get one
Aside from being a lot of work, they are immensely rewarding, a source of fresh and tasty food, good exercise and an excuse to be out in the fresh air.
How to get one
There are national schemes to apply for allotments.
What they are
They are an area of land, leased either from a private or local authority landlord, for the use of growing fruit and vegetables. In some cases this land will also be used for the growing of ornamental plants, and the keeping of hens, rabbits and bees.
They are traditionally measured in rods (perches or poles), an old measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. 10 poles is the accepted size of an allotment, the equivalent of 250 square metres or about the size of a doubles tennis court.
If your allotment is on land owned by the local authority (or Maulden Parish) then it will either be classed a statutory or temporary site. Statutory sites are protected by law.
History of Allotments
The historical records of Maulden Parish allotments are held at the National Archives. And Maulden Allotments have even been mentioned in the House of Commons (Vol 44, page 488) from when they were created “in lieu of tithes” as part of the Commutation of Tithes in 1836.
The system we see todayt roots in the mid-1800’s, when land was given over to the poor for the provision of food growing. This measure was desperately needed thanks to the rapid industrialisation of the country and the lack of a welfare state. In 1908 the Small Holdings and Allotments Act came into force, putting a duty on local authorities to provide sufficient allotments, according to demand. However it wasn’t until 1919 that land was made available to all, primarily as a way of assisting returning service men (Land Settlement Facilities Act 1919) instead of just the labouring poor.
The rights of holders were strengthened through the Allotments Acts of 1922, but the most important change can be found in the Act of 1925 which established statutory allotments which local authorities could not sell off or covert without Ministerial consent, known as Section 8 Orders. Further legislation has been listed over the intervening years which have affected allotments, the latest of which is the Localism Act 2012.
Who can help
Those with Maulden Allotments can also get help from the Maulden Society of Gardeners (with their shop and HQ at the end of Moor Lane) and the National Allotment Society.