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

Sited amongst the trees of Trengwainton's orchard, the garden team have recreated a WW2 Dig for Victory allotment, complete with a replica Anderson shelter.

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 the original campaign has been replicated as closely as possible. Original war-time species of fruit and vegetables have been used, along with gardening advice from the Victorian era through to the Second World War.

The Anderson shelter

At the start of the Second World War in areas where bombing was expected, air-raid shelters called Anderson shelters were distributed. Peer inside the replica one at Trengwainton 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.