Photograph by @simoncroberts.
Ashley Vale Allotments, Bristol, UK from the series #MerrieAlbion
Sophie and Matthew Holker tend their plot on the Ashley Vale Allotments, whilst their daughter Esme looks on. Ashley (meaning ash tree wood in Old English) Vale has been occupied since Roman times. The history of the allotments starts around the time of the First World War, when the land was turned over to the growing of vegetables, shortly before rationing was introduced. The ‘Rules of the Ashley Vale Allotment Association Ltd.’ were registered with the Agricultural Organization Society in 1917. The site now consists of over 200 plots overlooking St Werburghs City Farm. In July 2009, the House of Commons Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee published a report, ‘Securing Food Supplies up to 2050: The Challenges Faced by the UK’. It acknowledges the important role of home-grown food and that the Government needs to plan for increased public demand for allotments. In fact, a 2017 study by food policy experts from three universities has warned that departure from the EU raises such urgent complications for food and agriculture that without focus on the issue “the risk is that food security in the UK will be seriously undermined”, leading to dwindling supplies and erratic prices.
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