THE long, dry summer may have been a struggle for allotment holders battling to keep up with watering but horticultural experts behind National Allotments Week (NAW) are still determined to promote the advantages of the 'good life'.

During NAW, which takes place next week, allotment sites across the UK are being encouraged by the National Allotment Society (NAS) to open their gates, show off their skills, share their joy in gardening and communal endeavour and get everyone growing their own in gardens, balconies and backyards. The Society are hoping that visitors to allotment open days and events held during the week will be inspired to hone their horticultural skills and consider taking on an allotment for themselves.

"Renting an allotment gives you access to the space necessary for growing crops like potatoes, onions, sweetcorn etc but it is also possible to grow food in small spaces," says the Society's Mike Thurlow.

"Many vegetables have attractive leaves and flowers and look great in a cottage garden or backyard. Runner and French bean flowers come in white, red, purple and yellow and will clamber up a support in a sunny spot. Most salad ingredients are quick and easy to grow in pots of good compost, cut and come gain lettuce will even thrive in a semi-shady spot.

"Herbs are a vital ingredient for most cooks and can be grown in pots by the kitchen door and rosemary or lavender can make a low hedge. Strawberries will look attractive and produce fruit in a hanging basket if kept well- watered. Small fruit trees on dwarfing root stock are a productive and pretty addition to any garden and, if kept in pots, can be transferred to an allotment."

Mike also pointed out that this summer’s heatwave has bestowed some benefits to home growers by reducing aphid numbers, sending slugs underground and giving us tastier and earlier crops.

"The heatwave seems to have slowed the insect population down," he says. "On the open ground, there haven't been as many aphids. We had a short burst of greenfly earlier on in the year, which came to nothing, and not much since then. Just be aware that aphids have a second burst of activity towards the end of summer, so be prepared."

"We haven't had as many slug and snail problems this year, as they're likely to have gone underground, but once it cools, there will be more, so you need to be vigilant when the rain arrives."

NAW started in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of allotments and the role they play in helping people to live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities. The campaign week is still thriving 12 years later and interest in growing your own fruit and vegetables has never been stronger since the famous World War Two 'Grow for Victory' campaign.

The benefits of having an allotment can’t be overstated.

In an age where more and more people are concerned about “food miles” and what’s gone in to their food, there’s no better way of making sure the fruit and veg you eat is up to your standards than growing your own.

And it’s good for you in other ways, too.

Just half an hour of gardening on an allotment can burn off as much calories as low-impact aerobics – while getting out to an allotment can help you meet new people and socialise in a new setting.

As part of NAW, which runs from Monday, August 13 to Monday, August 20, Wrexham Council is inviting members of the public who might be interested in renting an allotment of their own to add their names to current waiting lists.

Wrexham Council runs four allotment sites where plots can be rented by members of the public: Erddig Allotment (Hollow/Thomas Fields), Erddig Road, Victoria Road Allotment, Victoria Road, Prices Lane Allotment, Prices Lane and Tanyfron Allotment, Glen Way, Tanyfro.

Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “While spaces on council allotments might be subject to waiting lists, we’d always advise people to sign up to the lists, so we can get an idea of the demand that’s out there for allotments.

"Given we’re approaching in National Allotment Week, I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank allotment users across Wrexham – they do an excellent form of voluntary work which adds another element to the outdoor environment in Wrexham, and that is very much appreciated.”

Cllr Bithell added: “Waiting lists are longer at Erddig, Tanyfron and Victoria, but we only have a small waiting list for Prices Lane, so it’s well worth for people getting in touch.”

As part of the nationwide series of events for NAW, the Wrexham Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association (WALGA) will hold its annual Flower, Vegetable and Home Produce Open Show for 2018 at St Margaret’s Church and Community Hall on Chester Road, Wrexham, from 2pm on Saturday, August 18.

For more details on the event and the work undertaken by the Association, visit

National Allotments Week runs from August 13-19. For details visit

For more information on Wrexham Council’s allotments, and applying for one of the plots, visit