Report casts light on life in Acomb since Roman times

An archaeology report, produced as part of the investigations into the bowling club development project on Front Street, has provided a further insight into the history of the village.

The report says that, “in February 2005 On-Site Archaeology carried out an archaeological evaluation on the disused allotments located immediately to the west of the current site. Within one of the evaluation trenches two small pits containing late 1st to mid 3rd century Roman pottery were recorded, cutting into the natural sand. A residual sherd of late 1st to early 2nd century pottery was recovered from a subsoil deposit in one of the other trenches”

The allotments land has now been bulldozed to form a building compound. No mitigation measures have been taken to preserve or record any archaeological remains on that site (which is owned by the York Council).

The report goes on to say, “There is no evidence of occupation during the Anglo-Saxon period although the name ‘Acomb’ is Anglo-Saxon in origin meaning “at the oaks”.

“The mediaeval period is when the village of Acomb took on a known form with the focus of the village being the area between The Green and Front Street. Acomb is listed in the Domesday survey of 1086 as a manor with 14 rent-payers. The Church of St. Stephen is an 1830 construction replacing an earlier 12th century church with possible pre-Conquest origins. Archaeological work has taken place behind 12-26 The Green, which produced evidence for mediaeval domestic activity and possible ploughsoil relating to medieval crofts or garden plots An evaluation carried out by OSA in March 2007 to the rear of 95 Front Street revealed late medieval boundary ditches containing pottery dated to the 15th and 16th centuries”.

The findings of the investigation can be read by clicking here .

A report on contamination on the site can be read by clicking here

York Council set to quit allotment management

Green Lane allotments among 18 sites to be handed over

Good life

Good life

Management of the current allotment service is undertaken by one full-time officer with limited part time assistance from the Council’s Business Support service. Most sites have a voluntary site secretary who, on behalf of the Council, shows prospective tenants around the site, lets plots and deals with simple day to day enquires. A limited number of sites have voluntary tenants associations who run site shops and offer gardening advice and support to tenants.

York has 1250 allotments

The Council is now proposing to hand all 18 sites over to a volunteer managed body. The precise nature of the body has not been confirmed but it is clear that not all allotment holders are sold on the idea. Some said that they would be prepared to pay extra to ensure that a professional management service was sustained.

The main concerns relate the ability of plot holders to self regulate.

It is not unknown for users to become quite exercised over what outsiders might see as relatively trivial issues. The BBC even broadcast a investigative programme in 2013 called “allotment wars” Elsewhere Councils have run for the hills having divested themselves of local allotments.

The allotment service currently runs at a loss of £17k per annum. For 2016/17 direct expenditure is £80k with income expected to be £63k. As a contingency, a fee increase of 27% was approved by the Executive 7th December 2016. The new fees would come into effect in January 2018 which, assuming no price resistance, would balance income and direct expenditure.

Until a couple of years ago all allotments  sites had waiting lists. Interest in some sites has waned in more recent months, although residents wanting primeplots will still have to wait

List of allotments in York

List of allotments in York

Where York's allotment are located

Where York’s allotment are located

York Allotments Against Crime (YAAC) events a success

More than 770 gardening tools belonging to York allotment holders have been ‘dot-peened’ as a result of an extensive programme of security marking at allotments between May and July this year.

dot-peen-chassis-componentCity of York Council in partnership with North Yorkshire Police visited all 17 council allotment sites at pre-arranged dates to enable allotment holders to have their property marked and registered. As well as acting as a deterrent to theft, property marking also makes it easier to return belongings to their rightful owner should they be stolen and to possibly use them as evidence in crimes.

This year the Fire Service joined representatives from North Yorkshire Police and the council at the larger allotment sites, giving useful information and advice on fire prevention as well as inspecting the areas for possible hazards and fire accelerants. Sites were given a fire ‘health check’ and no issues were discovered. (more…)

York Allotments Against Crime events to combat fire and theft

allotment-posterAn extensive programme of allotment security events launches at Bustardthorpe Allotments on Sunday 8 May.

Organised as part of the ongoing York Allotments Against Crime (YAAC) campaign, the events will help to raise awareness of crime and fire prevention amongst allotment holders in the city.

City of York Council is working closely with North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and local allotment associations to offer friendly help and advice at events throughout the spring and summer.

North Yorkshire Police will be on hand to security mark allotment tools and property, so that if items are stolen they can be returned more quickly and possibly used as evidence. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will also be present at larger allotment sites to offer fire safety advice and undertake fire prevention health checks.

Crime and fire prevention advice will be available, emergencies permitting, on event days listed below:

•    Sunday 8 May    Bustardthorpe Allotments*
•    Sunday 15 May  Howe Hill Allotments
•    Sunday 22 May  Holgate Allotments*
•    Wednesday 25 May  Strensall Allotments
•    Sunday 29 May  Bootham Allotments*
•    Sunday 5 June  Hob Moor Allotments
•    Sunday 5 June  Low Moor Allotments*
•    Sunday 12 June Fulford Allotments
•    Wednesday 15 June  Wigginton Road/Terrace Allotments
•    Sunday 19 June  Green Lane Allotments*
•    Sunday 26 June  Glen Allotments
•    Sunday 10 July  Hempland Allotments*
•    Sunday 10 July  New Lane Allotments
•    Sunday 17 July  Scarcroft and Hospital Fields Allotments*
•    Sunday 24 July  Carr Allotments

North Yorkshire Police will be present at all events and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be at those marked with an asterisk. Advice is available from 10am until 2pm except for the Wednesday sessions at Strensall and Wigginton Road Terrace, which take place from 4.30pm to 7pm.


Over 1,500 items security marked on York allotments

dot-peen-chassis-componentOver 1,500 items have been security marked during the summer months by City of York Council working alongside North Yorkshire Police and the city’s allotment associations.

As part of the new York Allotments Against Crime campaign, the security marker was funded by a Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund grant awarded to Bootham Stray Allotment Association – with support from City of York Council.

Property marking events have run from early July until September with hundreds of people turning up to have some 1,500 items marked and recorded. Should they be stolen and retrieved they will be more quickly returned to the owner and, if possible, used as evidence.

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at City of York Council, said: “This is a great result for the allotment tenants on our 18 sites. At Low Moor Allotments, 246 items were marked, at Holgate 180 while on the last session at Scarcroft and Hospital Fields Allotment, we secure 167 items. Backed by a social media campaign under the #whatisdotpeen hashtag and with our partners at North Yorkshire Police, this campaign is helping reassure allotment holders and increase their enjoyment of gardening.”

Councillor David Carr, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods, said: “We continue to advise allotment holders to take any valuable tools home with them or ensure larger items are securely anchored or chained in a locked shed. These markers are a real asset in the fight against allotment crime and, following this success, we hope to repeat the scheme next year.”

For more information on the York Allotments Against Crime (YAAC) and further tool marking opportunities please contact Darren Lovatt on or go to

Security campaign makes its mark on York’s allotments

 A new scheme to deter crime in York’s allotments has been sown by City of York Council and partners.

bootham Stray allotments1-w280h230

Bootham Stray Allotment Association, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Safer York Partnership (SYP) and North Yorkshire Police (NYP) are among those digging in with the council to back a campaign to mark and record property in the city, starting off with plot holders’ equipment used in the city’s allotments.

As part of the new ‘York Allotments Against Crime’ campaign, a bid to fund a security marker was made by Bootham Stray Allotment Association – with support from City of York Council – to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund. The funds were awarded and a security marker has been bought. It will be used to engrave the property of allotment holders across the city at drop-in marking sessions starting on Saturday 4 July. Other markers funded by Safer York Partnership and North Yorkshire Police have been bought for wider use across the city.

Allotment plot holders have been invited to a number of property marking events which start on 4 July and run until September. The timetable is at
Once an item is marked, an officer will record it on the police database, so if it is stolen and retrieved it can be more quickly returned to its owner and, if possible, used as evidence.



Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at City of York Council, said:

We have very popular allotments in York which we want residents to enjoy in as secure an environment as possible. With this scheme we are encouraging plot holders to ensure their equipment is securely stored, and that it’s security marked to help deter theft.”

York allotment facts

York allotment classes prize giving 1925

York allotment classes prize giving 1925

How many plots are there on the 16 allotment sites belonging to City of York Council? 1333

How many tenancies are there on these sites? 1271

How many people are currently on a waiting list for a plot? 144

Have there been new allotments created since 2010? Are there any plans to create new allotment space in the near future? Yes

How much revenue is generated to the City of York Council by renting out these plots? Rents £53,807 How much money does it cost the City of York Council to rent these plots(maintenance, water + any other costs involved). Direct costs £27,370, plus management and administrative costs (time) which is not kept as a single figure

Source FOI CFT0148 

For a full list of the allotments run by the City of York Council click here