Hamiltonhill Allotments has 31 plots, and 11 purpose-built raised beds used as starter plots for people on the waiting list as they are easier to maintain and excellent for getting people started on growing their own food. The raised beds have the added advantage of being accessible by wheelchair users, or for anyone who finds bending down to the ground difficult. We are very lucky as we have lots of communal areas at the allotments including a polytunnel where members/groups can have an allocated growing space, wildlife meadow, bog and pond area, communal orchard which produces fruit and jam for fundraising, kitchen, indoor table and chairs and toilet facilities, outdoor barbecue site and outdoor seating and tables.
Our members are a mixture of individuals plotholders, families, all ages and abilities as well as community groups. Currently our groups include a local nursery for children aged 2-5 years old, and it is great for us to enjoy their story telling in the allotment on a sunny afternoon. We also have 2 plots for North Glasgow Community Food Initiative who have been at Hamiltonhill for many years. Their mission is to ‘work with communities to empower them to lead practical and sustainable food related activities that improve health and well-being and which support them to build stronger, more cohesive communities’. North Glasgow Community Food Initiative provides access to growing space and gardening advice for anyone every Friday all year round.
Emmaus Homelessness Charity is located next to Hamiltonhill Allotment and have had a plot for the purposes of growing food for the charity, and is an important connection in our engagement with the local community. Additionally, the Glasgow Autism Allotment Project was started at Hamiltonhill in 2010 in response to requests to provide suitable growing spaces for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder within a supportive autism friendly environment.
The lively mixture of groups and individual plotholders creates a dynamic community in which friendships, mutual understanding and support can develop naturally between people who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to meet. We regularly get together for communal projects, meetings, meals and work days which provide opportunities for people to get to know each other with no pressure and at a pace that they feel comfortable with. Like any allotment site, or any groups of people, the allotment association occasionally has challenges, but we have a clear policy to be inclusive and tolerant with a friendly approach which gives a good basis to resolve problems. The individual plotholders, associate raised bed members, groups and their members are all part of the allotment community.