Open day for London’s oldest plots

Open day for London’s oldest plots

Northfields Allotments welcomed over 700 visitors from across Ealing to its annual summer open day in July. 

Attractions included the onsite apiary where the bees produce Northfields Allotments honey, a heritage plot with a World War II Anderson shelter, a wildlife-friendly shed made from recycled materials, and a traditional potager plot. In addition, there were cake and plant stalls and the Apple Tree Bar, where visitors could enjoy an elderflower champagne cocktail beneath the shade of an old apple tree.

Christina Fox, chairman of the Ealing Dean Allotment Society, says, “As plotholders, we feel really fortunate to have access to the allotment site which is why we believe it is so important to share the many benefits that we enjoy with the wider Ealing community.

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“Northfields Allotments is an important historic site dating back almost two centuries and a vital part of Ealing’s natural heritage. We are devastated that the landlord Pathways intends to build on the site. Our Open Day again demonstrated that the wider community in Ealing also derives great value from the allotments and would be very sad to lose any part of this vital green space.”

The Northfields site comprises 141 plots, with over 70 people on the waiting list. Last September, plotholders were informed that the landlord intends to construct a social and private housing development on part of the site. There’s an excellent Guardian article exploring the issues – which are complicated, because they pit allotments against social housing – at https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/aug/02/social-housing-green-space-ealing-dean-northfield-allotments It asks, ‘How did we get to the situation where the solution to the social housing crisis is to build on top of a 185-year-old green space created for the working poor?’

You can sign a petition against the development at

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https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-london-s-oldest-allotments

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About the Author

Steve Ott

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