The Birmingham and District Allotments Confederation, is an ‘unincorporated’ association of volunteers committed to promoting, preserving and supporting Allotments in Birmingham. We have been in existence for more than sixty years and were originally called the ‘Birmingham and District Allotments Council’ .
Birmingham has 115 Allotment sites spread throughout the city and approx. 6500 tenants, who come from a wide range of diverse backgrounds, speak many different languages, live in deprived and affluent wards, but all have a passion for growing their own food. All allotment tenants, who pay rent to Birmingham City Council are members of the BDAC.
We were set up, originally, as a body to represent the views of our members through dialogue with the Council’s Allotment Department and act as an umbrella organisation for Birmingham’s Allotment Associations.
Since 2014, due to a reduction in the number of Council Allotment Officers, we have taken on more responsibility and now have a formal management role through a legally binding ‘Management Agreement” with the City Council to oversee all 115 allotment sites and 6500 tenants. This Agreement defines our duties regarding the management of Allotment sites and our relationship with the City Council, as Advisors and Consultants on allotment matters.
B.D.A.C. has an Executive committee comprising of 17 members and “Area Advisors. To find out more about the current Executive members please click here. The Executive normally holds monthly meeting to discuss allotment issues, however due to the Covid-19 situation we have had to suspend all meetings.
The City has been divided into seven areas. Each area has been assigned two Executive members and two Advisors. This ensures that plot holders and Associations have named B.D.A.C. Advisors that they can contact for advice. Advisors report back and consult with, the Executive and Birmingham’s Allotment Department.
We are closely involved with the National Allotments Association. The BDAC are local representatives for the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners and form part of the West Midlands Region. Our representatives attend the NSALG West Midland Region Meetings, including the AGM,i n order to work in cooperation and share ideas.
What we do
We work with allotment associations, allotment holders & city council officials for the benefit of allotment tenants by:
- protecting allotments provision across the city.
- supporting allotment associations with advice and information enabling them to carry out their management duties.
- encouraging and supporting sites without associations to form committees and take on management responsibilities as we are aware that sites that have a management committee have a much brighter future and more likely to thrive.
- support the Council in the management of those few sites without a Management Committee, and who are subsequently managed directly by the Council.
- playing an active part in influencing allotment policy ensuring that any changes are for the benefit of allotment plot holders and associations.
- Advising plot holders on tenancy issues
- providing mediation in disputes between plot holders and associations, also, between plot holders and the City Council Allotment Office.
- acting as an active watchdog to ensure the City Council provides support to allotment sites.
- promoting excellence in allotment growing through the organisation of shows and competitions for individuals and associations.
- act as consultants on allotment renovation and development.
- train Allotment Show judges.
- hold Executive Meetings every month to discuss allotment issues.
- hold an Annual General Meeting and a Half Yearly Meeting where all members are invited to contribute to a debate on allotments.
- We publish and distribute a quarterly newsletter, this enables both ourselves, allotment associations and plot holders to keep in touch with what is going on in the Allotment World.
- We administer our own web-site, social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.
The Council provide us with a grant paid yearly that covers both the Executive and Advisors management running costs.
BDAC and its membership associations are now the only organisation promoting allotments and their social benefits. The BDAC annual show is the flagship event in this process for the benefit of the City of Birmingham and all of its allotment tenants. We annually have to raise extra funds to Stage the Birmingham Annual Allotment Show as these costs are not covered by the City Council.