The challenge that keen gardeners face in securing allotments in Scotland is to be explored in a new Holyrood inquiry.
The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee will look into whether the process for providing allotments is adequate, and will examine demand across the country.
The inquiry forms part of the scrutiny on the Community Empowerment Act 2015, which states that the number of people on allotment waiting lists should be no more than 50% of the total number owned and leased by the local authority, and that no one should be on a waiting list for more than five years.
The committee is now looking to hear from people who have experienced the process in a bid to better understand what more can be done to ensure sufficient provision.
Committee convener, Ariane Burgess, said: “The Community Empowerment Act sowed the seeds for the provision of allotments throughout Scotland. But we already know that in some areas, this has failed to take root and flourish.
“The benefits of allotments have been well documented, not just in terms of health and well-being, but also around intergenerational engagement, waste reduction and biodiversity. And the pandemic and the cost of living crisis have put these benefits in sharp relief.
“We will be looking at the availability of land and how it is allocated by local authorities, but we also want to hear about what else could be done to make sure that allotments and their users can thrive.”
Other areas to be investigated include the pandemic’s impact on the demand and supply of sites, and the role the sites play in allowing communities to grow their own food.