General Guidance and some Does and Don’ts

The following notes cover the general use of the allotments site and are intended to help ensure that we all share a friendly, safe and secure environment in which to enjoy our growing hobby.

Health & Safety

Please remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety at all times that you are on the allotments. You must also take every care not to create hazards for others accessing the site. If you see anything that represents a risk to others and you cannot safely deal with it yourself, please contact a committee member urgently (see the Committee Contacts list enclosed in your welcome pack or on the Association website).

Insurance

Part of your Association Membership Fee goes towards an insurance policy that protects the Association against claims for damages, etc arising from external 3rd parties. However, please note that we do not have any cover for injury to members or for the loss or damage to their property (including, sheds, greenhouses, tools, etc.) or for their plants growing on the site. You may wish to bear this particularly in mind if thinking of leaving any valuable tools or other items on the site.

Security

We are happy to be able to report that we have not experienced serious security issues since taking over the site over eight years ago. That said, please remain vigilant and challenge anyone you see who does not appear to have authority to access the site or who might be acting suspiciously. The allotments are on private land and the track that runs between the site and the water tanks is also not a public right of way.

Gates

The site is surrounded by a rabbit proof fence and gates. It is very important these gates are kept secured at all times, even when you are just leaving the site briefly to collect water or manure, etc.

Vehicle Access

To avoid nuisance to our neighbours and pedestrians, the committee have agreed with the Parish Council that members will only use motor vehicles exceptionally to access the site (ie where unavoidable to transport heavy or bulky items). Drivers must proceed with extreme caution at all times along the track behind the housing on Field Head and again along the public footpath that runs past the allotment site. Vehicles must always be parked at the hard standing (ie just before the first manure heap). Access to the track that runs between the water tanks and the Northern edge of the allotment site is strictly for loading and unloading of heavy or bulky items only and, after which, the vehicle must be returned immediately to the hard standing area.

Manure

We have, to date, been regularly supplied with heaps of manure, free of charge, by our landlord and these are normally located at each end of the site. For best results, manure should always be taken from the bottom of these piles (rather than the top). As a courtesy to all plot holders please only take what you require for your plot and do not take more than needed on the day. The National Allotments’ Association recommends spreading manure thinly over the ground as putting too much on can affect the PH (acid/alkaline balance) of the soil and inhibit the growth of certain plants.

Water

Included in the Association Membership Fees is our water supply delivered to three tanks (these are located at either end and in the middle of the hedgerow beside the track that runs alongside the allotments). Please be careful not to waste water and ensure that you close the taps after use. Please do not touch the main shut off levers that are located on each tank behind the taps.

Control of Weeds

Weeds are, of course, every grower’s perennial bugbear and remember that weeds on your plot will soon produce seeds to spread them onto your neighbours’ plots! So, please do all you can to keep them under control.

Maintenance of Paths

Each plot holder is also responsible for maintaining weed free that part of the main path that runs past the end of their plot and/or the path that runs to the left of their plot (i.e. when viewed from the main path).

Disposal of Weeds and the Use of Compost Bins and Incinerators

There are several approved methods of disposing of weeds and other organic waste:

1. Compost Bins
These can be either of the commercial variety or self-constructed. However, please remember they can easily become a cosy home for rats unless suitably constructed and/or protected. Please contact a committee member for advice on rat proofing your commercial compost bin. Please note that with self-constructed bins, pretty much the only course for rat control is regular monitoring to check they have not moved in!

2. Small Incinerators
• Only the standard size metal mini dustbin type models available from garden centres, etc. are allowed by the Parish Council. These measure 2 feet high by 18 inches diameter (0.6m x 0.4m) with a covering lid and small chimney.
• Only waste vegetation from the allotments is to be burned.
• Before any burning allotment holders must take note of the prevailing wind direction – south/westerly winds will blow any smoke away from the village; burning should therefore be avoided when winds are from the opposite north/easterly direction.
• Incinerators should not be left unattended whilst burning takes place.

3. Take it Home for Disposal
Under no circumstances can vegetation or other waste be disposed of in the hedgerows or elsewhere on or around the allotment site.

Sheds and Greenhouses

You may request permission from the Secretary to keep a shed and/or greenhouse on your plot. These may not exceed 6’ by 4’ (approx. 1.8m by 1.2m) and must be painted forest green, or similar, to comply with our agreement with our neighbours. Please note that you will also be responsible for the removal of all structures as well as plants, etc, and/or negotiating the sale or transfer of these to the new tenants if you vacate your plot.

Seeds Discount Scheme

The Association organises an annual bulk order of seeds, currently through the reputable seed merchants “DT Brown Ltd”. Catalogues are normally distributed at the AGM in October and members are able to receive discounts of up to 50% on seeds (and 15% on non-seed items) through this bulk buying scheme. Everything comes with a replacement and/or refund guarantee.

Committee Membership

Finally, your committee is a small and friendly bunch that meets only a few times a year and always welcomes new faces. Just contact any one of us if you are interested in finding out more.

Wilberfoss Allotments Association
Revised January 2017