Allotment News Jan 2023

New Committee members: Following the recent AGM we are very pleased to welcome Ivan Trotman and Jeremy Axden to the Committee – for a list of Committee members please see below.  The Committee aims to address and resolve issues and concerns of allotment holders so please get in touch with a committee member if you want anything discussed.

Changes in the rent for the year 2023-24:  The Howe Trust requires a rent review biannually and will need a raise in rents for next year.  As discussed in the October newsletter and at the AGM it has been proposed that we should move from charging by plot size to charging primarily for services (water, insurance, hedge cutting, skip hire, administration etc.).  The Howe Trust agreed that the rent should largely reflect this service charge with a small component for plot size.

Rents for next year (beginning November 2023) follow from this discussion:

  • There will be a per plot service charge of £20 for each allotment holder.
  • Each full size plot will pay an additional sum of £10 – £30 in total
  • Each half plot will pay an additional sum of £5 – £25 in total

 Changes to plot size designation:  Following the measurement of plots, it was clear that some of the half plots were larger than some of the whole plots and the other way around.  Therefore there will be a re-designation of a small number of plots.  The committee will contact you individually if your plot needs to be re-designated in either direction.

Water butt covers:  At the AGM some members noted that water butt covers were not always being replaced after use.  The reasons for covering the butt, is to prevent evaporation (and therefore reduce bills) and to avoid seed contamination of your plot, and so it is important to cover the butts when possible.

Weed suppressant fabric:  We will be purchasing further weed suppressant fabric to benefit from bulk buying, available to members at cost price.  However, some members have noted the problems of the fabric fraying.  It is suggested edges can be secured by binding with gaffer tape, but re-cutting the edges also works well for a less permanent but effective solution.

Sustainable rat reduction:  Whilst we share our environment with a range of other species, there has been a problem of too many rats in some parts of the allotment.  It is therefore important to avoid leaving possible rat food around (for example potatoes or other obvious food in the compost heaps) but we are also going to create some owl nest boxes in the hope of increasing natural predators.

Surplus veg table:  This table, by the main gate, should only be used for surplus veg as other items tend to get left and become junk.  If you have items that you no longer need, and may be useful for others, please contact Brian Lewis (see below) and he will email members to let them know.

Orange string: The orange string and canes you may see around the allotment, indicate recent plantings of bulbs.  Notcutts gave us a large number of remaindered bulbs, which we hope we have planted in time for spring bounty!

Opportunities for sharing knowledge and seeds:  This was raised as an issue at the AGM and is currently being discussed by the committee.  We will be advertising a seed share shortly but if you have any ideas / particular needs for knowledge sharing please let committee members know.  The committee is also working with the Howe Trust to develop a web presence for the allotment, again let us know if you have ideas about this.

Georgina Glenny

25 January 2023

640 480 Maggie Fyffe

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