The Barnet Allotment Federation

The Federation was formed in 1965 at the time of the amalgamation of the boroughs of Finchley and Hendon, and the urban districts of Barnet, East Barnet and Friern Barnet to become the London Borough of Barnet. The membership of the Federation comprises the societies that manage the allotment sites in the borough.

From 1965 until 2013, the allotments had been managed in one of the following ways

  • directly by the council;
  • jointly by the council and allotment societies, with the latter responsible for letting the plots and collecting the rents;
  • by allotment societies that had leased their sites from the council on rolling six year terms.

Following seven years of negotiations between the council and the Federation, acting on behalf of the societies, an agreement was reached whereby the allotment societies would lease their sites from the council for 38 years for a peppercorn rent, in return for which they would assume responsibility for all aspects of the site management.

To provide support for the societies during the transitional period, we employed a support officer, Andrew Brown, generously funded by grants from Barnet council, to advise, assist and negotiate. He was in post for a two year period which covered the time before, during and after the signing of leases. During this time he produced advice papers on most aspects of self-management, all of which are available for reference on the website, via a link from the resources page.

With the adoption of self-management, the primary role of the Federation is changing from that of a negotiator to one that provides a framework for mutual support between the societies.

Following extensive consultation with its members, in April 2017 the Federation agreed a revised strategy for the future which reflects this changing role.

We hold several meetings each year for society representatives to discuss current issues, with an annual general meeting in February and a prizegiving/social meeting in October. At most of these meetings we follow the formal business by workshops and/or discussion groups on specific aspects of self-management.

The day-to-day business of the Federation is in the hands of a committee elected by the member societies. The committee’s remit is laid down in the Federation’s constitution which was adopted at the 2014 AGM.