Covid-19 and our gardening - please read

During lockdown, can I still go to my community garden or allotment?

Every community garden will need to do its own risk assessment as to how to manage its gardeners; we recognise that there are many vulnerable people who see their community garden as a life line, but we would advise that it is imperative that conversations are had to ascertain how safe it is for them to garden at this perilous time. It’s a balancing act, as mental health and well-being has never been more critical.

Recognising this, Lambeth Council is saying it’s OK to visit your community garden, so long as you follow certain guidelines (laid out below). Capital Growth has supplied helpful guidelines, as has the National Allotment Society . Here is why Sustain (Capital Growth) thinks it is imperative we keep our community gardens open.

Here are some guidelines gathered from various sources:

  • Do not visit your community garden or allotment if you or any member of your family are self-isolating.
  • Anyone considered medically vulnerable/subject to government shielding advice should not visit the growing space.
  • Avoid public transport to visit your garden; instead walk, run, cycle or drive to the allotment, either on your own or with one other member of your household.
  • Do not pick up anyone on the way and travel to the allotment with them. This is not allowed. If you bump into someone on the way then maintain safe social distancing protocols (stand two metres apart).
  • Do not allow your garden to be open to the public.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands after using the allotment gate. It would be helpful to others if you wiped down the gate, as well, if you can.
  • Don’t wash your hands in the communal water troughs.
  • Establish a rota for usage if plots are close together; garden leaders should publicise maximum number of visitors and display on an external board.
  • Don’t work on the allotment in groups of more than two. If you share the plot with someone from a different household then you must observe safe social distancing rules. Ideally, work out a timetable so you can visit the plot separately.
  • If you bump into people then maintain safe social distancing protocols at all times.
  • Don’t make anyone a cup of tea and close all communal amenities.
  • Don’t share tools.
  • Don’t visit the allotment shop.
  • Avoid taking your children to the plot if you possibly can. If you do take them, ensure they keep to your plot and avoid playing on communal areas.
  • If you take your dog with you, ensure it is kept on a lead, within the bounds of your own plot. If it wanders off and you need to retrieve it from communal areas this could place you and others at risk.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly before and after eating food, and when you get home.

We will keep this updated as we hear more from the Government. In the meantime, you can read up-to-date news on Covid-19 here

We are consulting our group members and have compiled a response from them – if you would like to find out more about what other members are doing, or need some practical advice, please do get in touch.