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Model Allotment, Hyde Park

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

In July 1940, the Ministry of Agriculture planned to set up a model pig, poultry and rabbit farm at Hyde Park in conjunction with an allotment.

They would demonstrate how an allotment and livestock could be run together by using waste from the allotment to feed the pigs, rabbits and poultry. There would be two plots: a five-rod garden and a 10-rod allotment.

The Hyde Park farm would be run by experts and the public would be invited to inspect it. At times indicated on a notice board there would be instructive talks given by the supervisor.

According to the Nottingham Evening Post on 30 November 1940, it would be “the first time Hyde Park had lent its soil to the production of carrots and onions and such-like, certainly alongside aristocratic Park Lane.”

Speaking at the opening of the demonstration ‘Dig for Victory’ allotments Robert Hudson, Minister of Agriculture, said “it was better to get a backache oneself than to have a heartache because one’s children were short of essentials to health contained in fresh vegetables, not only green stuff in the summer, but carrots, onions and potatoes in the cold, dark months of winter.”

The Ministry of Agriculture went on to employ a women gardener to supervise the allotment and provide horticultural advice to the public. From 1941 to 1950 a total of four women gardeners were employed on the allotment, Barbara Tarver (pictured), Margaret Lancaster, Brenda Woodrow (nee Campbell Watts) and Miss M Armitage.

Barbara Tarver on the allotment
Barbara Tarver on the allotment

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