I fear these times of cutbacks and hard gazing at the public purse will soon be adding again to the misery of us allotment folk. It obvious that money has to be saved, but some councils are taking the opportunity to increase allotment rents by as much as 300%, which must rate as near extortion. Allotments are available to all, people of every walk of life and of every means. Young, old, rich or poor, of every race and religion. But the land is only the start. We have to purchase seeds and plants, fertilisers and crop protection, it all has to be paid for, to get our crops to grow successfully. Physical and mental health is improved, and green spaces protected. I work on a so called ‘protected’ field which officially should always remain as allotments and not be sold off to put under concrete, but who knows. Just remember the words of Joni Mitchell ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.’ Lord protect us from that... and the money grabbers!