The Charity owns two allotment sites, Billets Hart Allotments and The William Hobbayne Community Gardens.
Whilst they are different, they are both self-managed spaces at the heart of the Community. We regard them as Sister Sites.
The management committees encourage all the plot holders to help each other, work together and inspire each other to provide a vibrant and social heart of the community in Hanwell.
The Billet Hart Site at the bottom of Green Lane is the larger of the two. The William Hobbayne Community Gardens offer smaller growing spaces just off St Margaret’s Road overlooking the Grand Union Canal.
Billets Hart Allotments.
Billets Hart Allotments
There are around 70 plots of differing sizes bordered on two sides by the River Brent and accessed via Green Lane.
Originally a meadow, it has historically been used for smallholdings, open pasture land and village fairs. It forms part of the land given by William Hobbayne in 1484 that led to the establishment of the Charity of William Hobbayne. The land was leased to the Hanwell District Council for use as an allotment garden in 1922. However in 2008 The Charity decided to manage the allotments themselves to promote the community spirit and offer an opportunity for those residing in the postal district of Hanwell W7 to continue to grow their own food in a sustainable manner (and/or keep domestic livestock) Many people keep chickens for eggs and we also have 3 registered bee-keepers on the site.
In 2009, the Billets Hart Allotment Association was formed, of which every plot holder is a member. There is a committee of nine elected plot holders, in addition two representatives of the William Hobbayne Charity act as Site Managers for the site. The purpose of the committee is to undertake the self-management of the site and its maintenance, and to ensure and promote a productive, co-ordinated and peaceful place for members to grow and cultivate their crops.
Fund raising is an important part of the social activities on the site in order to pay for maintenance and help towards other projects to benefit the site. Each year the Association holds a very successful stall at Hanwell Carnival.
The William Hobbayne Community Gardens
The Community Gardens are the result of transforming derelict land beside the Grand Union Canal into 55 mini growing spaces (three metres by three metres) for local people to grow their own fruit and vegetables and as a community space.
In the Autumn of 2009 the Charity entered into negotiations with the Canal and River Trust (formerly the British Waterways Board) to lease the land behind 86 to 110 St. Margaret’s Road. Site works followed which included the clearance of accumulated rubbish, sub-soil drainage, water supply and the introduction of fresh top soil. A number of corporate bodies were very helpful by providing a range of volunteers for the project.
Gardeners began their work on individual plots in April 2012. At the same time the William Hobbayne Community Gardens Association was formed with its first Annual general Meeting in September 2012. Two representatives of the Charity of William Hobbayne act as site managers and liaise with the Association’s site committee.
Plotholders are instrumental in maintaining the site, its pond and bug runs formed to support wildlife.
Bee keeping was established in 2013.
In October 2014 The Charity of William Hobbayne purchased the freehold of the Community Gardens to ensure the long term security of this much valued community project.
Allotments are very popular and we do have waiting lists on both sites which we manage on a first come first serve basis. Please note you will be offered a Community Gardens Plot first and will not be given a plot at Billets Hart unless you have successfully managed a plot in the Community Gardens. You must have your permanent residence in W7 to apply. If you are interested in joining the waiting list or would like to find out more information, please fill in the form below. Please note that we will not consider an application from someone who already has an allotment in the Borough.