LETTER: Trouble over allotment sizes

WE believe that the following news is of interest to allotment gardeners and councillors among your readership.

It has come to our notice that a person is emailing local councils across Britain, accusing them of breaking the law by using traditional measurements, such as rods and poles, to describe gardening allotments.

More than 150 councils have been contacted so far.

This person does not disclose that he is not a local resident.

These emails commence under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, asking for allotment prices, but then switch context and use deadlines under the FOI Act to force a change to metric units.

Some councils have removed rods and poles as a result of these emails.

We want to assure councils and allotment holders that the writer of these emails is wrong.

No legislation has been passed to outlaw traditional units for allotments.

When drafting metric regulations in the mid-1990s the Government exempted “transactions by specification,” of which allotment contracts are an example.

Rods, poles, perches, yards and lugs have existed for hundreds of years in Britain.

We hope that councils and allotment holders continue to use them for centuries to come.

John Gardner,


British Weights and Measures Association,

Eastney Road,