According to this article TV gardening programmes are too blame for a rise in neglected allotments as they make growing vegetables look too easy. As someone who has an allotment I am fully aware of the hard work involved in preparing and maintaining a neglected plot. It seems, however, that many people are seduced by TV gardening programmes that seem to promise fast rewards. Faced with the prospect of an allotment that needs first hard digging and then constant maintenance the reality appears to hit rather quickly and many allotment plots taken on by new tenants are being quickly abandoned.
Our local allotment association currently has the same problem. There is no shortage of people waiting for a plot but the very neglected plots are hard to find tenants for and those that do take them on often only have them for one year before handing them back often in a much more neglected state.
Perhaps gardening shows need to show a bit more of the hard and boring double digging and the constant weeding and grass trimming, which if not done at least on a monthly basis soon catches up with you, and can soon turn the plot back into a patch of brambles. I love having our allotment but easy work it is not.