1. ITV Report

Increase in people wanting allotments in region

In Plymouth 800 people are waiting for an allotment Photo: ITV News West Country

Having your own allotment is more popular than ever it seems. Waiting lists for them can be up to a decade in some parts of the country. For example, in Exeter the waiting list is between two and ten years and in Plymouth there are more than 35 individual allotment sites and the city has around 800 people on its waiting list.

While councils say their popularity did wane a couple of years ago they are now very much in demand again, especially in some city centres. The National Allotment Society and councils are warning gardeners to make sure their plot is registered to save it from development.

Council urge allotments to be registered Credit: ITV News West Country

Waiting lists across the country vary a lot. In Bristol it can take up to five years - in Plymouth up to six years but in Southampton it can be a whopping nine years.

With the increasing pressure to develop land in city centres - the advice is to make sure it is registered if the land is privately owned. Or even better make sure it is a council site as they are legally obliged to supply you with another allotment nearby if they developed the land.

"An empty allotment is clearly potential development land. If an allotment is well used then it would have that protection and the authority couldn't just dispose of it."

– Steve Clampin, Bristol City Council

And it's hardly surprising the allotment holders are urging councils and developers to find other sites.

Lois Goddard manages an allotment site ...

So the message is clear. Make sure you use your allotment and where possible use one on council land. Then the patience will be all worthwhile for many more years.