Efforts are being made to find tenants for “abandoned” allotments, it is claimed.

Hawkwood Allotment site in Drysdale Avenue, Chingford, has not been entirely rented out for 30 years and is now half of its plots are available, despite a waiting list of 460 in Waltham Forest.

Allotment holders Patricia and John Richards, both 75, of Mark Avenue in Chingford, claim the land and pathways are not maintained and the plots are not being properly advertised.

But Waltham Forest Council claim the allotments are difficult to rent out because of the site’s layout and accessibility, with vehicles unable to make deliveries or clear the land. 

In response to the claims, Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy council leader and cabinet member for environment, said: "We have been trying to fill the Hawkwood site for considerable time, and earlier this year offered the vacant plots to people on our allotment waiting list.

"After several people turned the site down, we re-opened the list and are now contacting the 460 residents on it to offer them a plot. 

"Following a visit to the site last year, I can see the huge potential in Hawkwood and hope that the current allotment holders will elect a volunteer site secretary, as we have at other sites, which can help us act swiftly by telling us when issues arise and plots become vacant or are not kept."

The council said plots at the site had been turned down by people on the waiting list.

After visiting the site earlier this month, MP Iain Duncan Smith said he was concerned at the state of the site and called for action.