London Society member Susan Moore says that urban dwellers need to be more connected to the earth.
During the lockdown, allotments were regarded as acceptable “exercise” for those lucky enough to have one. I waited for over 6 years on a waiting list and eventually got one in 2015. This has been a complete godsend during this pandemic, I have visited almost every day and worked really hard and with relative serenity. In the early weeks I did so with the thought that there may be local food shortages and all of us plot holders could be asked to contribute what we could – especially to the London homeless.
So, when I consider the question “When this is over”? I would recommend a great deal more land is set aside for allotments for people. Even a small square of land makes all the difference to well-being, being able to communicate with other people at a safe distance, sharing of seeds, seedlings and produce.
I have seen at first-hand how many children have benefited “helping” with the sowing and inspecting the little ponds for new frog life – or even just running up and down the pathways. I have seen people in their 80s working their plots, staying fit and well. Younger people working from home dip in over the lunch period and then later after 6pm to get that fresh air and maintain their plots.
We know there is a housing shortage but there is not a land shortage. We know there is huge demand across London as thousands fester on a council waiting list. The environment needs a boost, insect life and bird life need a sanctuary. I hope the London Society will see what an integral part of our great City these allotment sites are.
WhenThisIsAllOver is the London Society's debate about what the post-virus, post-lockdown world will and should look like. Contributions so far include:
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