Monday 24 June 2024

A Yellow Heat Health Alert

A yellow heat health alert has been issued for most of England as temperatures are set to hit 30C in parts of the country.

The notification, covering all but one region of the country, highlights the risk of increased pressure on healthcare services as a result of the forecast mini-heatwave.

The alert, issued jointly by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Met Office, comes into force from Monday morning and remains in place until late Thursday afternoon.

Temperatures are expected to spike at 30C (86F) in parts over the coming days, with "many places" due to see the thermometer reach the mid-20Cs (77F).

See the latest weather forecast where you are

This is the forecast for my neck of the woods for the next couple of weeks 

The strongest warnings have been given for the East Midlands, the East of England, East Anglia and the South East with the "potential for significant impacts to be observed across the health and social care sector due to the high temperatures".

These include an "observed increase in mortality across the population likely, particularly in the 65+ age group or those with health conditions, but impacts may also be seen in younger age groups".

For the North West and North East of England, the West of England, the South West and London, there is an "increase in risk of mortality amongst vulnerable individual and increased potential for indoor environments to become very warm", the alerts warn.

The heat health alert service covers England only, with colours including green (meaning no alert is issued); yellow (meaning a response is required); amber (an enhanced response is required); and red (an emergency response) which would indicate a significant risk to life.

The upcoming hot spell marks a break from the rainy spring, which saw 32% more rainfall than the average in England and Wales, making it the fifth wettest for England and the eighth wettest recorded for Wales, according to the Met Office.

However, the heat is only expected to last until midweek, giving way to showers, thunderstorms and persistent rain.

The wet weather has been coming from the Atlantic and a high-pressure system is expected to halt it for a few days.

Met Office operational meteorologist Honor Criswick said: "As we're pushing into next week, we're starting to see the hotter spells, but it is going to be quite brief."

Despite the wet weather, it has been the warmest May and spring ever recorded in the UK.

The average temperature has been 13.1C, beating the previous 2008 record of 12.1C.

Dan Rudman, Met Office deputy chief meteorologist, said: "Whether or not everyone experiences heatwave thresholds, the majority of the UK will experience the highest temperatures so far this year.

"Confidence in the forecast reduces markedly from Wednesday onwards, with uncertainty in both how long the heat will last and how it will break down, which we will be keeping an eye on for the coming days.

"However, by next weekend, cooler, changeable conditions become more likely."

Saturday 22 June 2024



With the hotter weather and summer actually coming I'm sure lot of growers will be looking at there tatties at this time of the year and worried about the possibility of blight.

Here is the replacement site for Blight Watch, it is called Blight Spy and forecasts when there is the right conditions for Blight to strike. You can click on your nearest location and see what's happening locally.

Thursday 20 June 2024

Questions When Viewing A Prospective Plot

This article has been written to answer a question that comes up a lot of Facebook gardening and allotment forums, and is normally worded along the lines off “I’ve finally got to the top of the waiting list and have been asked to visit and see the vacant plots on Saturday. What do I need to look out for and what questions do I need to ask?”

I've written this to provide a comprehensive answer as possible, to answer that question, however, I'm hoping it should also be a good read for anyone thinking about getting an allotment.

I got my allotment plot after helping my brother in law to try and find and then mark out his plot eleven years ago, and said I wouldn’t mind a plot of my own and he told me which three plots were still vacant and I selected the one I wanted the phoned the council to ask if I could have it, as at that time there was no waiting list on my allotment site. So I completed the paperwork and paid the rent and that was it. 

Times have changed, we have 15 plots that have been historically defined, some have been made into two half plots, but have then later been let again as full plots. The ones shown as full plots below have never been divided. 

Five years ago one plot holder had plots 1, 8 & 8A, I took on plot 1 when he left as there was no waiting list at the time and I had put my name down to take over plot 1 if it became available. 

Plot 8 & 8A were let as a single plot as the trees around that side of the site means plot 8 & 8A gets very little sunshine during the summer.

My brother in law had plot 6 then the old boy who had plot 7 & 7A gave up plot 7A then finally gave up plot 7 and my brother in law took on 7 as he had maxed out plot 6 and wanted more growing space. 

The plot holder who had plots 3A & 11A filled them with rubbish and turned plot 3A into a forest allowing 23 trees to grow, only one of which was a fruit tree and made plot 11 into a fortified camp that one could not see into. 

This was allowed by the council and it was at this point that I stopped undertaking site inspections as no one was prepared to enforce the rules, and they were applying them differently to this individual for reasons I will not go into. Finally he was evicted for non payment of rent, and the struggle to clear the debris and trees started. 

There are currently 16 plot holders working the 22 active plots, Plots 9 & 9A are out of action because of Japanese Knotweed, which should a have been dealt with years ago but the council and their management company have not treated the knotweed effectively and the plot has remained unlettable since 2015. 

Plot 3A photos above had 22 trees on it. A couple of the plot holders cut them down two years ago, but the stumps and roots need removing, this was to be actioned by the council and their managing agents, but nothing has happened, despite promises and now the allotment manager and I are thinking of letting someone have the plot for a year or two with free rent because of the amount of work involved and the cost of disposal of weeds and what lies beneath the bindweed and brambles to recover the plot.

Plots 11 & 11A were so overgrown and covered in debris from the previous owners. Again a few plot holders cleared 11 & 11A of most of the metal getting a local scrap man to take it away ready for the council and the managing agents to assist two years ago, and no help was forthcoming and the plots are now again over grown. There is a greenhouse frame in there but it can no longer bee seen from the main path.    

We now have a waiting list of 46, and we are hoping find some tenants on the waiting list who are willing to take on these plots on the basis of free rent for a year or two because of the amount of debris and tree stumps and roots that is still on the plots but can't be seen again.  

I have written an article about the history of Mill Green Allotments, with historical Ordinance Survey maps dating back to 1896 and google map images from 2003.

As a site rep, it’s my duty to show prospective plot holders, the available plots as they become free, and I try to give them a complete brief and try to answer their questions, but also give them answers to the questions they may have not have thought about.  So this article takes all the above into account.

Site Rules

Before you go to the viewing, look to see if there are site rules or guidance you can download from the owner’s web site. Local Authorities used to send out physical copies, these days it’s normally an adobe pdf document that can be downloaded or viewed on your smart phone. This guide will answer most of the questions you likely to ask.


Not all allotments have high gates and security fencing. Many do have keys, and you may be asked for a deposit or a payment for the key. Some plots nowadays have combination locks.

A question to ask is how frequently do sheds get broken into and tools stolen?

I’ve been on my first allotment plot since 2012 and we have only ever had one break in with criminal damage and tools stolen. My second allotment plot on a nearby site Spencer Road had multiple break-ins and criminal damage annually nominally youths from the nearby park who had nothing better to do. 

That was one of the reason I gave up the Spencer Road plot, when I managed to arrange for the drop off and pick up area (Car Park) to be form at no cost to the Local Authority, and the half plot next to my original half plot became available.     

Notice Boards 

Normally found near the entrance to the site or the trading hut if there is one is on the allotment. Ask if they have one, where it is and take a look to see what's on it. 

Facebook & Whats App Groups 

A lot of allotment set up specific groups and means of contacting plot holders and help build the community to share information as not everyone visits the allotments on the same days and at the same time of day or evening. 

These groups are useful when something goes wrong and you want to contact a plot holder to let them know, like a polytunnel turning into a kite and flying over the fence during a storm. Or requests for someone to water your plants if you are away, or sharing plants and seeds etc. So ask if these groups exist for your allotment, and if not perhaps think about creating them.     


Not all allotments allow cars onto the allotments and some only allow cars access in the summer once the paths have dried out, for dropping off or picking up compost, building materials and harvest etc. So it’s a good question to ask. 

If you are going to need to use a car to visit on a regular basis check out the parking availably around the allotment. Very few allotments have car parks. We have one, but we have to call it a "drop off and pick up area" otherwise all the other allotment sites in the borough will want one.   

Plot Size, Soil & Geology

Vary from site to site within a single borough and across the UK. With the numbers of people wanting allotment plots on the increase more full plots are being divided up into half plots.

Half plots are a good size to take on if you have never had an allotment before. Some sites have Quarter plots that they let new plot holders take on to prove they will stay the course before allowing them to upgrade to a larger plot.  

Full plots             250 sq metres

Half Plots            125 sq metres

Quarter Plots   60-70 sq metres    

It’s important to ask about the soil and the underlying geology of the site, and if the site suffers from flooding over the winter months and sometime spring. There are many allotments that are on or have become flood plains. 

Plot Location Within the Site 

If more than one plot is available and you have a choice, look at the location in relation to the nearest entrance, or entrance that has parking available, because if you buy sheds, greenhouses or ploytunnels, get manure or compost dropped off or bring in the back of your car, you are going to need to wheel barrow or carry these items to your plot.  

Consider where the sun comes up and goes down and how much shade or not each plot is going to get.

If on the boundary of the allotment there may be mature trees that will shade the plot but the roots will also be taking nutriments out of the ground and could make digging impossible.    


Rents are normally worked out on a square metre basis, but not all plots sizes quoted are accurate so always worth finding out just how large your plot size really is, and are they over charging for it.

Also normally there are paths between plots and it’s never clear if you are paying towards half of the width of the path or not, so another good question to ask.   

The current costs per m2 for the London Borough of Sutton for 2023-2024 are:

  • standard charge 40p/m2
  • concessions 32p/m2
  • water charge 13p/m2

The cost of a standard rate 125m2 plot is £66.25.

Concessions rates are normally discounts for people over 60

The rents are normally invoiced from, either 1st January to end of December, 1st April to end of March or 1st October to end of September, So it’s worth finding out when the allotment year runs from and check that they are only going to charge you for how many months you have left to run until the renewal date.

If your plot is really overgrown and it’s going to be a few skip loads of weeds and rubbish that needs to be removed, it’s always worth asking how long you will get it rent free for, especially if  half way through the rent year, they may not start charging you until the renewals.  


Ask about water, as not all allotments have standpipes and or dip tanks for watering cans. 

Look to see where there are any standpipes and tanks, and if so where they are in relation to the plot you are being offered.

My nearest stand pipe & tank is two plots away on the opposite side of the main path, so I dug a trench and buried a hose that comes up at the tank & tap so I don’t have to lay a trip hazard over the path each time I want to water.

Allotments that don’t have mains water rely on rainwater capture and water butts of various size and shape, and rain harvesting off sheds, greenhouse, polytunnels or roofs over IBC Water Tanks.  

Water is a precious commodity, and most sites request you use it sparingly and consider other allotment gardeners when watering your plot. Normal guidance for sensible watering is:-

Ensure hose pipes are in good condition and that adapters are working and not leaking.

● If other tap sharers are waiting, limit your watering to half an hour.

● Do not use sprinkler attachments (or similar) for watering plots.

● Do not leave hoses unattended when in use nor leave hoses attached to water taps when not in use.

● Never leave hoses running when you are not on the allotment site or overnight.

Remember that hose pipe and sprinkler bans imposed by the water companies apply to allotment gardeners and they can fine you for ignoring a ban.

Some allotments don’t allow sprinklers, or charge extra if you wish to use them.    


Some allotment sites, have arrangements for woodchips for paths and to be used as a mulch to be dropped off for the use of the plot holders. Do ask if this is something that happens and where and how frequently they manage to obtain a load to be dropped off.   

Manure & Soil Conditioner  

Some allotment sites, have arrangements for manure to be dropped off, or council soil improver made from garden waste dropped off on site. Again ask if this happens on your allotment, and if so how frequently and where it is left. 

On Spencer Road Allotment we used to get horse manure from the police & queens stables dropped off by a refuge truck so only allotments that could accommodate the size of vehicle could receive it.   

Trading Huts

Ask if your allotment has a trading hut, if not ask which local allotment sites have them. In the London Borough of Sutton several allotment sites have trading huts run by private groups. They sell gardening supplies such as seeds, composts and fertilisers and, as the people running them are usually allotment gardeners; they are also a useful source of advice. 

An annual membership fee of a few pounds is normally required to become a member, but is quickly recovered in the savings as most are run as non- profit making enterprises. 

Link to article about the London Borough of Sutton Trading Huts 

Some larger allotments may also have equipment you can borrow or short term hire.   

Site Reps & Committees

Do ask if there is a committee and Site Rep. Committees can be a great advantage or a curse depending on how well or not they are organised and the nature of the members that form it.

Ask about Open Days and Seed Sharing, BBQ or other communal activities that are held on the allotment   

Caring for your Allotment

The main requirement of your agreement will be to keep your plot, or plots, tidy by removing litter and rubbish, and controlling weeds regularly so they do not seed and cause problems for other gardeners and to follow the rules.

If you cannot manage to cultivate your entire plot, it is normally acceptable, as a temporary measure, to mulch part of it with polythene sheeting, organic mulch or cardboard to keep the weeds down.

Carpet, especially rubber-backed carpet is not normally allowed these days, as the backing may rot down releasing harmful chemicals into the soil, causing pollution. Carpets can also cause problems for machinery when clearing plots. The carpet gets stuck in the machinery.

A lot of allotments ban the use of tyres being brought into the allotment, although historically people have grown in them.

There may be a percentage area of your plot that you have to have cleared within three months, six months and by the end of the first year so do ask. This links into site inspections.  

Plot Layout

Traditional allotment gardeners may want to cultivate the entire plot and plant rows of vegetables and flowers. Others may have a lawn with beds of produce. Some gardeners have made complete gardens with a lawn, flower borders, summerhouse, a bench in the sun, a vegetable patch and even a swing for the children.

All these styles of gardening are acceptable and the London Borough of Sutton wants gardeners to cultivate their plots in whatever way they find suits their needs, however this may not be the case on your allotment, so you need to look at how different people are working their plots and enquire what is and is not acceptable on you site.  

It may be acceptable to plant a part of your plot for wildlife and have a pond, again ask about this, Normally this is allowed but you may be requested to "not allow your plot to become overgrown or plant large hedge plants or forest trees as this cause too much shade and take too much nutrient from the soil."

Some Owners my advise that if you wish to create wildlife areas, please consider volunteering with a volunteer groups caring for wildlife areas across the borough or area you live in. 

Sheds, Greenhouses, Polytunnels and Decking

Not all allotments allow you to build sheds, greenhouses, polytunnels or lay decking. I know of sites where sheds are not allowed, or if they are they have to be short and or not have a door on them. If structures are allowed then enquire how large each of those structures can be.

You may be lucky and inherit a shed, greenhouse or poytunnel. These days allotment are getting handed over in better conditions.

If you see an old shed that could be made of Asbestos Cement ask who will be responsible for taking it down and disposing of it ? 

The London Borough of Sutton guidelines are sheds, greenhouses or ploytunnels up to an area of 2.4m x 1.8m (8’ x 6’) are permitted without permission from the managing agent i. Any size larger than that needs special permission.

Normally 75% of the area of your plot should be dedicated to cultivation, greenhouse & Polytunnels may be counted as cultivation areas where as a shed is unlikely to be. .

Insitu concrete bases or pile or pad foundations are not normally permitted on allotment plots, normally paving slabs on ground or sand are used under sheds and within greenhouses, or for paths.  

Buildings must be within your plot boundary and not obstruct paths between plots.

Normally there is recommendation that you position buildings on the southern edge of your plot so shade falls on your plot rather than on your neighbour’s.

You are not normally permitted to erect any other type of building or structure on the allotment site, without permission (i.e. for livestock or bee keeping ) . 

Disposal of Rubbish

Normally one needs to make your own arrangements for disposing of all the rubbish from your plot or plots. This includes disposing of both green waste and other non-compostable items. Some sites may include the provision of skips for rubbish removal; this is normally reflected in the rental cost.

Normally there is a rule or guideline that you must not deposit or allow anyone else to deposit rubbish anywhere on the allotment site. This includes the hedges and ditches around the allotment site and unworked allotment plots.

Composting is promoted on most allotment sites, but there are some weeds, that one would not want to add to a compost heap.    


If you have a dog and want to bring it to the site please ask if this is permissible on your site.

In the London Borough of Sutton unless there is a local agreement allowing dogs on your site, you must not bring dogs into the allotment site, whether or not on a lead.

This is principally for hygiene reasons. If Site Representatives want a local agreement, they should request a ballot of all gardeners on their site. If more than half of those who reply to the ballot agree to allow dogs on the site, the local agreement rules will apply:

● Dog owners must keep their dogs on a lead while on the site

● Dog owners must make sure their dogs do not damage other gardeners’ plots

● Dog owners must comply with Dog Fouling By-laws and pick-up and appropriately dispose of dog waste.

A dog attacked and extracted a lump of flesh from a plot holder in our borough which is why the above local agreement arrangement was created.

Children on sites

Normally children are welcome on allotment sites, but do ask and check. Allotments are dangerous places and anyone bringing children onto allotments should ensure they are well behaved and don’t wonder onto other people’s plots.


Either the Council or private landowners in the bordering properties own the boundary fences of the allotment site as a whole. Normally you must not move or damage any fences. In particular do not pile rubbish against fences as this can cause them to lean and rot.

Some plots in the north of UK fence off their plots, sometimes 6ft high corrugated sheeting, however in the London Borough of Sutton, It is strongly recommended that you do not fence your plot. Under their guidelines they suggest there should not be any need for individual fences. 

Some sites in the borough do have fences and at a recent meeting of all the site reps with the council and the managing company, it was agreed that the guidance should be altered to state that pallet fences or fences no larger than 1.2m or 4ft are allowed, as it defuses boundary disputes and actually can make individual plots a little more secure.  

I created what I call my boundary beds that are on the main path. This was done because initially I had kerb stones that the grass cutters just pulled up with their equipment each time they cut the grass. 

The boundary beds allows me to have an edge to my pot that is functional, that I can trim and detours people from just walking onto my plot from any point, they are directed to the entrance I have created next to my potting shed if they want to come and have a word with me.

I have populated the boundary bed with Winter raspberries and installed support for the raspberries that again detours children and foxes from just wondering in a trespassing      

I have kerb stones along the side of my plot and a climbing frame greenhouse in the main path / next door plot path corner which again gives me some separation and physical boundary.

The Daleks were originally placed along that line because my plot is not square and plot holder of the plot next to mine petrol strimmer flicked stones that reached my greenhouse, so it was a form of fortification and protection from projectiles.  

You must not use barbed wire or any other materials that might injure passers-by, such as doors or windows with glass panels, as these often break leaving dangerous glass shards on your plot, something that as a Site Rep I had to keep reminding tenants off on the Spencer Road site as children used the access road/ wide path to get to their allotments with their parents who didn’t always keep an eye on their offspring’s.  

Fires & Bar-B-Ques   

Normally you may have a barbeque on your plot for your immediate family, provided that you consider your neighbours and do not spoil their enjoyment of their plot.

Not all allotments allow you to have fires or BBQ's on allotments so it’s a good question to ask. 

They tried banning fires completely in the London Borough of Sutton, until all the site reps pointed out that blighted material and some vegetation should be burnt and not added to rubbish. We came up with the guidance below, so check to see what the rules are for your new plot.  

From 1st January 2020 waste material that cannot be disposed of by composting or other means may only be burned in an incinerator or clean oil drum during the period 1st October to 15th March.

Fires should not be lit more than 2 hours before dusk and are not permitted on Bank Holidays during this period. Material that is damp or green must not be burnt until it dries out fully.

Never burn materials such as plastics that may cause pollution.

Open bonfires are not allowed on the council’s allotment sites except for Guy Fawkes Night celebrations, when open bonfires are allowed for 5 nights before and five nights after 5th November each year.

Note that by law you could be fined if you light a fire and allow the smoke to drift across the road and become a danger to traffic. Remember that smoke from bonfires can be annoying to neighbours, ruining their enjoyment of their gardens, and preventing them from opening windows and hanging out their washing. Bonfires can damage the health of children, the elderly and those with asthma and other breathing problems.

If you cause a nuisance by frequently having fires or allowing smoke to drift into neighbouring properties the Council can issue an ‘abatement notice’ and you can be fined up to £5,000 if you do not comply with the notice.

In addition failure to abide by this policy will result in termination of the allotment agreement.

It is recommended that you stack weeds & timber debris off the ground on a pallet and cover with a tarp, uncovering when on site and covering when you leave to allow the weeds to dry before attempting to burn them.

Inspections & Plot Cultivation 

Inspections are normally carried out at least once a year, and some sites may inspect 4 times a year, or more, so defiantly a question one should ask is, how many inspections and by whom they are undertaken.

The inspections may be undertaken by the site owner or their manging agent, the site committee or the Site Rep.

Allotment Site Reps & Allotment Committees are often asked “what is non-cultivation?” or alternatively what does cultivation mean when applied to Allotments. It’s one of those things that you know it when you see it – but is tricky to define.

The London Allotment Officers’ Forum suggests that a plot that is less than 75% worked could be defined as an uncultivated plot.   Allotment law stipulates that there should be evidence of at least 25% of the plot worked within the first 3 months, and at least 75% of the plot should be worked within the first year, and thereafter.

Fundamentally, if you keep your plot clean and tidy, free from rubbish and weeds and ready for crops or planted with crops you don’t get in the cross hairs of those doing the inspections.

If you need to improve the condition of your site you may receive a weed notice, an improvement notice of a non-cultivation notice, with a warning and a time limit in which to obtain said required improvement otherwise a termination notice will be give and you will lose your plot. So ask about the inspection process and understand what you are committing too.  

Level of Commitment?  

It’s at this point that I normally quiz the prospective tenant, about their gardening experience, and the amount of time they anticipate spending on the allotment, and their staying power?

I point out to them that Rome was not built in a day and neither will the allotment be transformed in a few hours. That depending on the condition of the allotment they are taking on, and point out to them that it’s going to take time and effort.

I have an article about Clearing A New  Allotment that I refer them too, and then point out getting the allotment clear and ready for crops is one thing, keeping it clear of weeds, is quite another and requires just as much work if not more.   

Livestock & Bee-keeping

Not all allotment sites allow you to keep Livestock (normally chickens) and Bees, so if this is something you are interested in you need to ask about it when you visit the allotment to view the available plots.

If laying hens are allowed you may find that Cockerels are not permitted. 

If bees are already being kept on a site there may be a limit as to how many hives are allowed on the site as a whole. Bee-keepers normally have to provide a telephone number where they can contact in case of emergency. They must also give an alternative number for use if they cannot be contact them on the first number. This could be the number of a friend or bee-keeping colleague, but must be someone who is willing to deal with emergencies.

Normally it is expected that bee-keepers have received relevant training, and to be a member of a local bee-keeping society, which can provide advice on insurance and legal matters 


The responsible for maintaining the fences, gates and hard surfaced paths on sites, is down to the land owner and or their managing agent.

They normally arrange for contractors or local allotment groups to mow the grass on the main paths through the sites. 

Grass mowing on minor paths between plots is normally the responsibility of the allotment gardeners on each side of the path. But it's a good question to ask and find out what you are responsible for maintaining and what they are responsible for.  

Subletting & Plot Sharing

Subletting a plot is not normally allowed, however plot sharing may be.

Ask the question and make sure it is and that if you are sharing a plot with a friend or family member that both names are registered. The bill for the rent is normally sent to the primary user, and if in the case of divorce, separation or death that person does not pay the rent the other person may find that their plot has been re assigned to a new owner.


The subject or trees on allotments is one that comes up on a regular basis, due to.

  • Perimeter Trees around the site boundary producing shade
  • Trees on neighbouring plots that are unmanaged growing too tall and producing shade on neighbouring plots
  • Roots from trees just off the allotment holders plot that are invasive and reducing moisture content in the soil.

There are those council run and church run allotments that have put in place stringent rules for the planting and management of trees, indeed some allotments issue Tree Notices instructing tenants to reduce the size of their trees when they get over 2m. 

I have an article dedicated to Trees on Allotments Click hyperlink to read.

If you have found this article useful please do leave a comment. 

To find my journal easily I have purchased the domain name of which is much easier to remember than the blogger name that holds this blog. 

Summer Solstice in the UK


The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and astronomically, it's the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, winter will begin. Some people like to celebrate Midsummer's Day on June 24, which is an ancient quarter day that historically marks the middle of growing season.

This year it also make what appears to be the end of so much rain and the forecast for the next few weeks is a lot of sun and not as much rain. 

The RHS are very pro slug and snails these days but most gardeners and allotment holders will not agree with them, especially this year where there are reports on most Facebook allotment and gardening groups that they are wiping out seedlings and young plants.

Personally I have never had such a bad year for losing plants and seedlings to the gastropods.  


Saturday 15 June 2024

#StopUPOV - It should not be illegal to save and swap seeds


It's time to #StopUPOV

Imagine being unable to share your seeds with your neighbours - all because a corporation on a different continent owns the rights. 

Now imagine that doing so could land you with a criminal record - as is the case in Indonesia, where farmers have been prosecuted for saving and sharing particular crop varieties. 

An obscure trade convention called UPOV91 is the reason behind this - and the UK is complicit in spreading it around the world. 

UPOV91 makes it illegal for farmers to freely save, swap or sell some of their own seeds - and it's currently present in 19 UK trade deals with 68 countries around the world - 19 in the Global South.
Add your name and stand against corporate overreach that criminalises farmers - and together, we can #StopUPOV. 

Trade justice doesn't happen overnight - but by joining us today, you're standing with the farmers worldwide constrained by corporate overreach into the land they tend to every day.

Trade mechanisms like UPOV91 work best for big business when they aren't well known - but we want to change that.

Sign the Petition

Friday 7 June 2024

Open Farm Sunday


Visit a farm this weekend
for Open Farm Sunday

Hundreds of farms all over the country will open their gates for Open Farm Sunday on 9 June.


Pull on your sturdiest shoes, learn first-hand about where your food comes from and treat the family to a great day out.


Looking for a farm to visit? Take a look at seven reasons to attend your local event.