Allotments in one form or another have been in existence in the UK since the Middle Ages but numbers grew substantially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as improvemnets in allotment legislation were made. In the Isle of Man the Douglas Allotments Association was formed in 1916 along with a number of other horticultural organisations encouraged during the First World War by the "Grow More Food at Home" campaign.
The background to this was the main exporters of food to the United Kingdom at that time were the USA and Canada. The introduction by Germany of unrestricted submarine warfare meant that merchant ships were sunk with great frequency, resulting in serious food shortages.
In response to the campaign a part of the Douglas Playing Fields at Nobles Park was turned into allotments and such was the enthusiasm that annual vegetable shows were introduced almost immediately.
After the 1914-1918 War the allotments were taken back as playing fields. However, shortly afterwards the Association was able to secure its own land to form permanent allotments.
The acquisition of the land by the Association was funded by a series of bonds that were progressively repaid by the Association, the final repayment being made in 1976. The land is now held and protected for the benefit of its members in a trust established for the purpose.