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Digging Around

Our aim is to show the links between sustainable lifestyles, behaviours, campaigns, and actions from the past to learn more about sustainability today and in the future. Using archive material from the Library of Birmingham as well as material kindly shared with us by the University of Birmingham and The Royal Horticultural Society, these web pages reveal Birmingham's important role in history as the "allotment capital" of England and Wales.
More information about the Digging Around project

‘Jesse Collings and the Poor Artisan’ (The Dart, 1885)

Allotments in the 19th century

‘A Clean, Healthy and Modern Town?’: Jesse Collings and Nineteenth Century Birmingham  
Postcards and Spuds!

Allotments in War and Peace

 G.W. Butcher wrote a book in 1918 called Allotments for All. 
Harry Thorpe, Professor of Geography at the University of Birmingham

Allotments in the Thorpe era

From Allotments to Leisure Gardens
Sustaining the Plot 2001

Allotments Today

Allotment plots from the largest allotment site in the UK, Uplands Allotments in Handsworth, to Chalet Gardens in Linkoping, Sweden.  
David Ruffles

David Ruffles

In the winter of 1998-99 a public exhibition of Birmingham allotment photographs by David Ruffles offered a glimpse of food growing in the city.
Dig for Victory

Digging Around

A  joint project between Birmingham Library and Archive Services and Aston University about urban sustainability.