Digging for Victory at Trengwainton Garden

History comes to life with our Second World War Dig for Victory allotment © National Trust/Marina Rule

History comes to life with our Second World War Dig for Victory allotment

Visitors to Trengwainton Garden in Cornwall can enjoy two new experiences in one this year.  For the first time, we’ve opened our orchard for you to explore, and sited amongst its trees we’ve created a replica Second World War Dig for Victory allotment.

Background

The Dig for Victory campaign was launched at the start of the Second World War to help combat food shortages caused by attacks on allied merchant shipping convoys.  

The aims

The aim of the campaign was for Britain to become self-sufficient by each person growing food for themselves and for those in their community who were unable to contribute due to old age or disability. This was achieved by transforming every back garden and every square inch of available public space into allotments for growing vegetables. 

Success

The impact on Britain’s landscape was huge, with allotments springing up on road-side verges, London’s Royal Parks and school playing fields.

Stroll through Trengwainton’s Dig for Victory allotment and you’ll see we’ve replicated the original campaign as closely as possible. We’ve used original war-time species of fruit and vegetables along with gardening advice from the Victorian era through to the Second World War.

The Anderson shelter

We’ve even recreated an Anderson shelter – a type of air raid shelter that was distributed at the start of the Second World War in areas where bombing was expected. Peer inside and you’ll see original wartime articles such as a tin helmet, gas mask and Bakelite knitting needles.

The future

With rising fuel and food prices, the topic of self sufficiency is just as relevant now as it was in the 1940s. Come and experience Trengwainton’s Dig for Victory allotment and perhaps you’ll be inspired to have a go at growing your own.