Anyone who spends time in Headingley can see signs of our rural past in the old field boundaries still visible in places as ancient dry-stone walls, and in buildings like the converted stone barns opposite the Arndale Centre. Just behind those old barns, some of that heritage is preserved in St Anne’s Allotments where residents pay a modest rent to grow vegetables and fruit for their own use. There are a surprising number of allotment sites tucked away around Headingley, and the plot holders there are a wonderful mix of people of all ages and backgrounds, with an amazing variety of gardening styles.
Allotments in Britain date back to the time of the enclosures, but most of those in Leeds were created during the last war to help ease food shortages. Those shortages have gone, thankfully, but allotments are still popular among people who like the variety and quality of crops they grow themselves, or who just cherish that connection with the land which is missing in so much of 21st century life. There is recent evidence of real benefits to health for people who spend time outdoors in a natural setting, and also from the social connections that can be found on allotments.
There are four allotment sites within Headingley. Two are administered directly by the Council, St Annes Road Allotments and Meanwood Bandstand Allotments. To get a plot at one of these sites, contact Leeds City Council.
The other two sites, Ash Road Allotments and Hollin Lane Allotments, are self-administered, which means they lease the land from the Council, and run the sites themselves. To get a plot there you need to contact them directly: see the Allotments page.
Hollin Lane Allotments
Many sites nowadays have a waiting list to join. If you want to widen your search, check out the Leeds City Council web page. Leeds and District Allotments Gardeners have a list of the self-administered sites: go to https://ldagf.org/members