Allotments in Great Britain have been around since the early 19th century, the oldest being in Wiltshire. Although now illegal for measurement, most allotments are measured in rods. Typically, an allotment is 10 square rods (250 square metres). Each plot cannot exceed 20 square rods and must be used for the production of vegetables or fruit for the allotment holder’s family. During the First World War there were 1.5 million plots, today about 300,000.

German allotments, (Schrebegärten), were developed during the mid-1860s, for city children to play in a healthy environment. During the two world wars many were given over to food production. However, today most are now used for recreation, as many Germans live in flats without gardens. Consequently there are over 1.4 million allotments. In Berlin alone there are more than 800 allotment complexes.