When you take on the tenancy of an allotment you agree to abide by the rules that you are given. This means using your allotment as a space for growing crops of fruit, vegetables and flowers. To leave it uncultivated and claim you are growing for wildlife will ensure that you are asked to leave.
However this does not mean that you cannot have spaces for wildlife and wild flowers on your allotment within reason.
If your allotment has hedges you have the idea environment for allowing garden birds to nest and ones which may provide winter food if there is hawthorn or ivy. Ivy forms berries in a very blank period at the end of January and into February when there is little food for garden birds.
Remember that some of your crops will encourage wildlife in the garden. Before you all cry out that you don’t want rats on your plot, cabbage white butterflies and whitefly on your brassicas or slugs in your spuds, remember that there are other plants such as all the common beans and peas which will benefit from butterflies, bees and hoverflies. And that you can grow herbs such as lavender, oregano and rosemary which are friendly to bees and butterflies as well as being useful in the kitchen. Also a few annual flowers will be good additions to your compost heap at the end of the season.
The internet is full of useful information on how to encourage wildlife on your allotment or in your garden whilst still growing the food that you want for your family.
A little light reading for you:
- Butterflies on your allotment from the RHS;
- Butterflies in your garden from the Butterfly Conservation Trust
- Encouraging bees in the garden
- Bee Friendly Garden – a PDF from the BBC
- Feeding Garden Birds