Hollin Lane Allotments are at the point where Meanwood, Weetwood and Headingley meet, next to the Meanwood Valley Trail. We are a community of about a hundred plotholders from all segments of the community, growing fruit, vegetables and some ornamentals in about a hundred different ways. There are 50 full plots, now mostly let as halves or quarters. Facilities are fairly basic: running water, a small car park, and a shipping container used as a tool store and shop for fertilisers and composts. We do have a lovely new composting toilet, but no mains drains and no electricity. Still, it is a lovely, peaceful place to spend a day, surrounded by growing things and friendly neighbours.
There have probably been allotments here since the second world war. Even since the early 1970s, which some of us remember, there have been big changes. Once the plot holders were nearly all men growing potatoes, cabbages, brussels sprouts, swedes, onions and marrows in strict rows. It was a matter of pride to have your plot dug over each autumn and left to ‘weather’. The large number of vacant plots was a big worry. Now a majority of the gardeners are women, and the list of crops has grown to include garlic, sweet corn, courgettes, artichokes, asparagus, pak choi, mizuna and many more with names unheard of here even a few years ago. Raised beds and no-dig methods are replacing rows and autumn digging on many plots. Any plots that do become vacant are quickly subdivided and let to eager new tenants.
Oh, and garden snails have moved north and joined the slugs in feasting on our crops.
How to Find us
We are between Highbury Road and Hollin Drive (LS16 5NE). You get to the main entrance by following the unpaved track from Hollin Drive as far as the locked gate. There is also a small entrance off the Meanwood Valley Trail, near the end of Highbury Road.
Getting a Plot
There is a waiting list for plots these days. If you want to be added to it, phone the letting secretary, R Hall, on 0113 274 5699 or send an email. Anyone who lives in the area can apply and have a go. Because of the current shortage of allotments we let only quarter plots to begin with. There are no special qualifications for joining, but even a quarter plot is a lot of work, and you do need to be able to spend time there to reap the full rewards.