Shepherds Hill Allotments, Crouch End, North London
Shepherds Hill allotments was first laid out shortly after the first world war and lies on the southern flank of the swathe of playing fields and sports clubs known as Shepherds Cot, bordered to the west by Queen’s Wood. It occupies a 6-7 acre strip of the hillside, stretching from Montenotte Road, Crouch End, at one end up to Priory Gardens, Highgate, at the other, with our southern perimeter punctuated by the little park known as Shepherds Hill Gardens. It is one of the largest of Haringey council’s 27 allotment sites, comprising 214 plots, the large majority of which are half plots (five poles, or rods, each one comprising about 125 square metres).
Although the site has seen many changes over the past 15-20 years, particularly in the social profile of its 193 tenants - and is facing up to more change yet with the imminent prospect of devolution from the council - it remains an oasis of peace and tranquility and a haven for inner-city wildlife. And we've got beekeepers and chickens too.
Vehicle access is very limited - meaning a fair few of us keep fit by battling up muddy footpaths with heavily-laden wheelbarrows - and it is not bordered by any main roads. Were it not for the ubiquitous background roar of distant aeroplanes and the occasional passing emergency siren, one would never know one was standing near the heart of a big city at all. And that’s how we like it.
Demand for plots at Shepherds Hill far exceeds supply. We have a little over 200 plots and this year have allocated just 12. This figure is unlikely to change substantially over the next few years. Currently there are over 180 people on the waiting list, and although people move away and drop out this still represents a long waiting time. If you would like to be added to the waiting list please email the site committee with a contact name, address and phone number, but we advise you also apply to other sites.