About allotments

Fresh vegetablesDo you dream of growing your own vegetables, fresh fruit, herbs and flowers? If so, we may be able to offer you an allotment.

There are 22 allotment sites in Cambridge, eight of them managed by the council and 14 run by allotment societies.

Plot sizes and prices

Allotment plots are measured in poles; a standard five-pole plot is the equivalent of approximately 125 square metres. Smaller starter plots are given to new allotment tenants.

New prices for 2015-16 (billed in October 2015) will be:

  • £12.30 per year for a starter plot
  • £20.50 for a 5-pole plot
  • £39.50 for a 10-pole plot
  • Refundable key deposit (where applicable) £30 

Although a number of existing tenants have 10-pole plots, plots of this size will no longer be allocated to new allotment tenants.

Starter plots initiative

The starter plots initiative builds upon the philosophy of allowing you to create your allotment in a series of small squares.

We're currently only issuing small plot sizes of 25 and 50 square metres to new tenants, in order to conserve space and meet demand.

Tenants will have the opportunity to move up to a standard plot of 125 square metres (5 poles) at a later date, depending upon availability.

Square-foot gardening

Starter plots are ideal for 'square-foot gardening', where each square foot of ground is for a different vegetable, fruit, or herb, planted in quantities that you will actually use.

The long, labour-intensive rows of a traditional allotment, which require thinning, weeding and maintaining over the growing season, are no longer needed.

Small-square gardening promotes planting only what you use, which means watering less and less wasted space in the bed.

Weeding time is improved because you can reach weeds from all sides of the square bed, and by replanting squares as soon as you harvest, you can ensure a steady crop of vegetables throughout the growing season can be achieved.

The starter plots initiative is not prescriptive and can be used for traditional strip crop rotation if preferred.

The Square Foot Gardening website has more information.

Cambridge Allotments Network

While the information in these pages is relevant to all of the sites, you can only apply for an allotment on one of the council-managed sites.

More information about the 14 sites run by allotment societies, including details on applying for a plot, can be found on the Cambridge Allotments Network website.

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