Plot Competition Results

We’re lucky at Urban Green Newcastle to manage over 60 allotment sites across the city, totalling over 3,000 individual plots, and to work with the city’s dynamic and dedicated allotment holder community. In celebration of their hard work throughout the year we are delighted to now be able to announce the winners of the plot competition.

The plot competition took place over the summer months when allotment sites were in full bloom. So, while we were disappointed to cancel the Newcastle Allotment and Garden Show in light of the sad passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II, we were thankfully able to run the plot competition in advance of the cancellation.

The judges this year were our Allotments Officer – Gavin Cassidy, Robyn Caple – one of our community gardeners, and Chair of Newcastle Allotments Working Group – Paul Herbertson who were astounded by the quality of the plots and made the following comments:

“We were delighted by the enthusiasm and commitment shown by everyone for their allotment sites. There is a huge diversity of size and type of plot, with no two sites the same, but what is consistent is the level of pride that everyone feels for their wonderful places.

“Despite all the challenges of the past couple of years, we were struck by the high quality of all the plots, and every site entered – irrespective of the results – should be hugely proud of their achievements.”

Gavin Cassidy, Urban Green’s Allotments and Local Food Officer was especially impressed by the innovative methods he saw while touring the plots, he said: “It was amazing to see some of the ingenuity of allotment holders using unique techniques for rainwater harvesting, composting, and personal preference. So many allotment holders were using upcycled and reused materials to do this which is fun and also good for the environment.”

Robyn Caple, Urban Green’s Community Gardener was captivated by the biodiversity of the plots, saying: “I was in awe of the biodiversity of some of the plots and the efforts of allotment holders to support local wildlife in harmony with growing an abundance of food.”

The Results

We’d like to say a massive thank you to all of our entrants and congratulations for all of the winners and runners up. Our team will be in touch directly to arrange collection of your prizes for:

Best Quarter Plot
Winner – Springfield, Plot 10
(Ray and Irene Turnbull)

Judges’ comments: Good utilisation of space with cultivation, layout and planting, great range of crops and heritage produce. A great achievement within an urbanised site!”

2. High West Jesmond Plot 2B (Mark Butcher)
3. Highbury South Plot 51 B1 (Sasha Pervin)

Best Half Plot
Rectory Road, Plot 12B
(Ken Tyler)

Judges’ comments: “This plot scored very highly. Great variety of fruit and berries, imaginative use of fruit training, nice selection of heritage crops, and good cultivation standards.”

2. Littlemoor Plot 33 (Carmel Ridley)
3. Three Mile Plot 34B (June Theiss)

Best Full Plot
Moorside, Plot 74
(Jean Hannon)

Judges’ comments: “Welcoming, well laid out, extremely attractive with so many flowers attracting a wide variety of pollinators, one of highest scoring plots in competition.”

2. Littlemoor, Plot 93 (David Harmiston)
3. High West Jesmond, Plot 10 (John Newlands)

Best Organic Plot
Benwell Lane, Plot 35
(Alan Parker)

Judges’ comments: “Great range of unusual plants, unique structures used to contain more vigorous plants, good utilisation of weeds as fertiliser. Clearly enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable plot-holder.

2. Three Mile, Plot 51B (Julian and Janet Thomas)
3. Moorside, Plot 99 (Latiner Allman and Anne Gibson)

Best Newcomer or Family Plot
Three Mile Plot 62A
(Maria Carr)

Judges’ comments: “Made huge improvements in short time, both in utilising and upgrading what was already there, but also creating new features out of recycled materials. Created a great site – well done!”

2. Thropton Terrace (Kirby Clark)
3. Rectory Road Plot 27B (Raymond and Tanja Chaytor)

Most Wildlife Friendly
Three Mile Plot 69
(Peter and Ann Wilson)

Judges’ comments: “Plot winds its way between different habitats (woodland, meadow and mix of different flowers), creating a wonderful environment for wildlife. Plot holder was clearly very knowledgeable, and continuing to try out new ways of improving the site, including different ways to provide food, shelter etc, as well as capturing lovely images of the wildlife attracted.”

2. Moorside Plot 66 (Frank Lightfoot)
3. Thropton Terrace (Kevin Egdell)

Best Group or Community Plot
Winner(s) – Joint First

“Judges were unable to choose between these two sites, as both are providing fantastic space for young people to share learning on growing food and promote the benefits of spending time outside in nature.”

Children North East
Benwell Lane Plot 9

Judges’ comments: “High quality building, raised beds, successful at attracting grants, lovely communal area with protection enabling activities to take place in all weather.“

West Jesmond Primary School
Highbury South Plot Plot 32B-40B

Judges’ comments: “Site contains lovely different range of spaces to learn about growing foods, outdoor activities. Diverse areas showing plants from around the world (African space), willow wall, and great use of volunteers to help work the space.”

Best Shed
Littlemoor Plot 38
(Gill Dallow)

Judges’ comments: “Real sense of history and ownership with this shed, with beautiful coverage of ivy and roses, and seating area outside next to pond. Yet at the same time, the owner still had ideas for how they wished to improve the area with more wildflowers and a water collection system.”

2. Moorside Plot 34 (Candice Tripp)
3. Thropton Terrace Plot (Kevin Egdell)

Best Whole Site

Judges’ comments overall: “All sites extremely well maintained – very difficult to choose between them, and they should all be extremely proud of their achievements.”

Winner – Three Mile

Judges’ comments: “Very nicely laid out, with relaxing atmosphere. All plots well maintained, nice community facility, and spaces for wildlife integrated into layout. Particularly impressed by site’s engagement with local community, bringing groups onto site, and also caring for planters throughout immediate area.”

“The only issue on this allotment site is that their resident wildlife ate all their plot holders sweetcorn! Not bad for the animals though, and it could be argued that they are part of the site too!’’

2. High West Jesmond
3. Littlemoor

Most Improved Site

Congratulations to Premier Allotments, for winning Most Improved Site, who’s location is like a little bit of countryside tucked away in the city on the Ouseburn.

As one of Newcastle’s first allotment sites, created in 1917, it is brilliant to sense the continuity of over a century of gardening and how well the plot holders work together even with very basic infrastructure such as not having a water supply.

Recently they have clubbed together to create communal compost bins and deliveries of manure funded by themselves… – and now they have their first communal structure – a polytunnel for all gardeners to use. So congratulations to Rebecca Farley and Chris Tighe from Premier allotment association committee, as well as every plot holder that have all worked together to improve their site.

Looking towards next year

We look forward to working with our fantastic winners and all of our other allotment holders to continue the amazing work and talent of the city’s allotment holder community, and to celebrating their efforts again next year.

We’re proud to work alongside Newcastle Allotment Working Group, and thankful for all of their help in the planning of this years show. You can find out more information about their work at