Despite accounting for 40% of government brownfield sites for future social housing, it’s still possible to find small enclosures of fertile land which are used for their original purpose.
Many of the best allotments have lengthy waiting lists, so it’s always worthwhile befriending the oldest and most feeble plot holders in the hope that they die before you and bequeath you their place.
Most allotments are used to grow fruit, vegetables and sweet peas (which are flowers, not vegetables), though a sizeable minority routinely concentrate on native weeds, washing-up bowls and sheds made from the contents of a local skip.
City allotments have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years and these typically grow more exotic fruit and vegetables, as well as being used for storing contraband cigarettes, housing illegal immigrants and burying kidnap victims.
Most allotments hold open days when you can buy fresh produce and take part in fun activities such as celebrity hoeing, dibber jousting and the always popular compost juggling, and many of these events continue well into the night, when any unsold produce is roasted over a burning Ford Cortina.