Covid 19 advice


In these difficult times here is our advice on enjoying your plot and growing your produce. The advice comes from BCC Allotments, the BDAC and NSALG (National Allotment Society) 

Update 3/7/20

With lots of relaxations in the guidelines coming into force on the 4th July . The advice for allotments remains the same including maintaining 2m social distance.

Full guidance click here

Update 13/5/20

We are currently awaiting guidance from BCC regarding the letting of plots. As soon as a decision has been made we will let you know. For the time being even though NSALG have issued guidance please do not let any plots until we have been given the go ahead by the landlord.

Many thanks.

Update 12/5/20

Following the governments annoucement yesterday the NSALG have updated their guidance. 

(communal areas/shops – advice remains the same, plot allocations, time and driving updated)

How long can I stay at the plot?

The Government have now removed the limit on exercise time.

Can I drive to my allotment?

Yes you can drive to your allotment

Plot allocation – we would advise associations to carefully assess the risk of allocating plots. If  it is possible to allocate plots on a one to one basis, within social distancing rules then it should be possible.  Any prospective tenant must be given all the relevant safety information for the site. 

Full guidance here

Update 23/4/20

It is with great sadness that due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have to announce the Birmingham Allotments Annual Show is cancelled for this year we will be back in 2021.

Please click on new page regarding a proposed Heritage Project. click here 

Update 10/4/20 Barbara Smith Secretary BDAC

The BDAC and Birmingham City Council is getting increasing numbers of complaints from allotment neighbours about lack of social distancing, the time spent on allotments by plot holders, the noticing of groups meeting up socially.
Plot holders should follow Government guidelines in social distancing, should only be on site to manage their plot either singly or with a family member. Children should stay on their parents plots. The recommended time on site is up to two hours.
Those who don’t follow these guidelines risk Allotment sites being closed to everyone.
Could Site Secretaries share this with their plot holders 
Can I say a big thank you to the vast majority who are being responsible at this time. 

Update 09/04/20 

Toilets are classed as communal areas and should now be closed. 

Please Click on the link for up to date information from the NSALG

Update from Barbara Smith BDAC Secretary 07/04/20 

The BDAC strongly advise that Associations stop letting plots to new plot holders until the current situation improves. We  believe that meeting with new plot holders, handling paperwork agreements and handling of monies including banking money all pose risks to Secretaries and prospective plot holders. 

 We are very lucky to still be able to access our sites, it is a privilege at this time, please try make sure that no plot holder abuse this and lead to our access being stopped, groups should not use your sites as a meeting place.

In line with BCC, we also ask that all Associations who haven’t yet done so, should close communal buildings and shops on site, there should be no need for these to be open to plot holders. Many Associations have set up systems that involve telephone/ computer orders for site shops and on line payment with goods transported to plots. This seems to be a sensible idea as long as strict social distancing is followed. If plot holders have seed potatoes and or onion orders to collect please arrange this safely.

Hope all is well with you, keep safe.

Best wishes

Update form the NSALG 30/3/20

The government is presently advising the population to stay at home and practice social distancing, whilst being allowed to take one form of exercise a day. If working your allotment is to carry on being seen as legitimate exercise then it is imperative that plot-holders follow all the guidelines, allotment sites are as risky as anywhere else.

We think that now is the time to consider working your plot in isolation i.e. not with household members and if you can stay away for a few weeks to do so.

It is vitally important that you follow all the advice about social distancing and hygiene in the points below and not gather together on site.

On site shop[s should now be closed and an online ordering system offered where possible. 

For the full advice please click on link below/


Update 26/3/20


Due to the current situation with the Corona virus outbreak it has been decided to cancel the site competitions for this year. If you have any queries please direct them to Clive Birch. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Update 24/3/20

Michael Gove MP, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, stated this morning on the television that going to and tending your allotment was considered exercise and therefore allowable under the current more stringent rules for slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Please continue to keep at least 2 metres away from other people – more is better! No gatherings of more than 2 people again keeping a safe distance unless in the same household. Remember the virus can be spread by contact from surfaces so if you touch something like a gate, padlock or tool touched by someone else, wash your hands with soap and water (even if cold) or use a proper hand sanitiser.

Are Allotments Open?
Yes allotments remain open currently to provide fresh air and exercise. However Government advice is changing daily so please keep checking here for updates.  

Are there Restrictions who can Visit their Plot?

Yes please follow government guidelines, if you are self isolating because of symptoms (either yourself or someone else) you MUST stay indoors for 14 days. Everyone else is welcome to enjoy their plot, but must keep a social distance of at least 2m or more. It is essential that no unauthorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager.  Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70 or with underlying illness issues or that is pregnant. Anyone who falls into the high risk group and should be shielding should stay at home and not come to their allotment site.  

What to do When on your Plot
Plot holders  should take the following precautionary measures :

  • Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
  • Hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locks
  • Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
  • Do not share tools
  •  Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes
  • ·Do not wash your hands in water troughs
  • ·Plan ahead to ensure that you have food medication delivered to you during this time
  • Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possibe
  •  If you display any symptoms of corona virus stay at home and self-isolate  for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.

What actions should Associations take?

  • Cancel plot inspections and any seed swaps planned, association trips, annual judging, scheduled Committee meetings / AGM’s also should also be postponed. 
  • It would be a good idea for Associations to give a telephone number or email address for anyone with problems so they can have someone to contact. 
  • Associations should have a notice stating  it is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash your hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in water tanks/butts. 
  • Those Association who operate shops will have to consider what action to take, whether to close and perhaps accepting cash is not a good idea.  We must all consider vulnerable families, friends and fellow plotholders and give assistance where needed.
  • Please don’t penalise plot holders who cant get to their plot to work it. BCC have stated no one will lose their plot because of the pandemic. 

What actions are the BDAC taking?

  • We are taking advice from the government , Brimingham City Council, and NSALG and updating instructions/guidance as and when we receive them.
  • All BDAC exec meetings have been cancelled , the AGM has been postponed. Currently the Birmingham Allotments Show in August is still on. Decision on this will be made in a few months depending on the situation then.
  • Site visits from Exec members and advisers are cancelled until further notice. We can still be contacted by email Phone and normal post. Please contact us for any advice you need in these troubled times.

What other events have been cancelled?

With the Government no longer supporting mass gathering events due to the impact on emergency services and heightened actions to encourage social distancing, the following RHS Shows will regrettably no longer take place in 2020: 

– RHS London Spring Launch & Orchid Show, 7-8 April
– RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show, 17-18 April
– RHS Flower Show Cardiff, 17-19 April
– RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 7–10 May
– RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 19–23 May
– RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, 11–14 June
– RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show, 26-28 June ( may be looking at  Harlow Carr can be moved into July, depending on government advice)

The RHS will contact everyone who has purchased a ticket and everyone will have the option of a full refund back within 21 days.


We are living through a crisis the likes of which none of us has experienced before, never before since war time, has the community spirit that exists  on allotment sites been more important.  Please be kind to and look out for one another during these very difficult times. Please please please follow government advice and the advice given here. Please stay safe . Best wishes to you and your families at this difficult time. FundraisingThe annual Birmingham Allotments Show takes a lot of time and money to organise. We are always looking for raffle prizes so please let us know if you have anything you can donate. If you have any ideas for fundraising events please let us know and we can pass this onto our fundrasier Cheryl Butler. Many thanks. 

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