Ascott Allotment: Growing More Than Just A Plot

We recently collaborated with Ascott Allotments in their successful bid to showcase at RHS Hampton Court 2021. Ascott Allotments has existed for more than 170 years. It is the second largest allotment site in London, with over 250 individual plotholders (including our very own David Johnson) spanning 12 acres amidst a dense, urban area in Ealing, West London. We thought this was a great community project and we were keen to support it by contributing design advice and by drawing up the resulting proposal for submission to the judging panel.

The show allotment aims to exhibit and portray how allotments can grow connections between generations, cultures and experiential divides; particularly after such a disconnected year. For many, during this last year, the allotment was one of the only ways individuals could see others outside of their households and, while still distant, those connections and having a natural space from which to escape from the news and anxiety, proved essential. We had found ourselves thinking about these sorts of ideas earlier in the year, whilst drawing up an ‘ideas project’ called ‘Space That Works’ (also located in Ealing) that we later submitted as an entry to the RA Summer Exhibition. Both projects were conscious to invest in the interconnected nature of Ealing’s green space ecosystems and aim to be in tandem with the management of biodiversity across the Borough and beyond. They also both focus on how shared experiences and space can build communities and improve social capital within an area.

The final proposed scheme includes: upcycled materials representing the respect for finite resources and ‘can-do’ attitude of many on the allotment; a conversation deck and community board to emphasise the theme of connection and knowledge sharing; a water feature, bird boxes, pollinator gardens and bird feeders (all made from reclaimed materials, by the plotholders) to communicate the importance of nature and its conservation; a story circle to encourage the development of the next generation of the allotment community; and a diverse range of edible plants grown in varied ways to show the vast opportunity for all to grow whether that be on an allotment or in a window box. We are very pleased to announce that the proposal was accepted and is due to be shown in this year’s show in early July. You can learn more about Ascott Allotment, their work and their progress with the garden here.

210510 Allotment 3
210510 Allotment 2
210510 Allotment 1