Best Allotment Competition 2017
My apologies for the delay in making these results available, it has been busier than usual trying to keep all the plots fully occupied and being worked!
As proposed, each site was judged by two guest wardens from other sites. Hopefully this has been successful in most people’s opinion. We would appreciate your feedback and alternative ideas for next year. Anyway, now down to business.
The overall winner of all sites was Mr John Garraway retaining this title from last year with 100 points. The two judges commented that try as they might they were unable to find any reason not to award full marks. Well done to John as this award is well deserved for all the work he puts into his plot.
Click here for the Site Results.
As well as the cup for overall winner which goes to John Garraway, there is the Cecil Drewett Cup which for many years has been presented for best plot at Lords Mead. The Cup has been won by Peter Bragg having attained the highest total points for his outstanding plot.
Well done one and all on a close-run competition. All prizes and cups will be presented at the Society Christmas Social function so would love to see all winners there.
A special mention for Mr Chamberlain at Hardenhuish whose plot was commended. As our most senior tenant at 90 years old, Mr Chamberlain has shown outstanding effort. Also commended for a tremendous effort as newcomers were Katherine Walsh and Leah Hunn on Lords Mead.
For The Attention of All Tenants
Please see below clarification of a few “rules” which are not covered by the Tenancy Agreement:-
Water Consumption – In recent years the larger sites have been fitted with water meters and the Town Council are able to monitor our usage. Following excessive use in one recent year (a dry summer!) rent increases reflected this and there is no doubt it could happen again. We ask you to use common sense when watering. Sprinklers are banned completely and whilst you can use a hosepipe, you are not to leave them running unattended at any time.
Paths – As stated in the Tenancy Agreement you are responsible for the maintenance of paths and borders around your plot. However, following discussions a number of years ago it was decided to set a standard width of path between 18” – 24”. This includes additional paths you may decide are necessary on your plot.
Sheds – As stated in the Tenancy Agreement permission from the Town Council is needed to site a shed on the plot. This has been delegated to the Allotment Society. Tenants need to speak to their Warden to agree a suitable site on the plot. The ideal size for a shed would be 6’ x 4’ but anything up to 8’ x 6’ is acceptable. Please use slabs or timber for the base, no permanent concrete bases are allowed.
Greenhouses/Cold Frames – These are acceptable but must be glazed with polycarbonate or similar – strictly no glass. Sizing – please see guidelines for sheds.
Poly Tunnels – These are also acceptable but due to the nature of the construction should be sited with advice from the Warden who will also advise as to a suitable size.
Weed Suppressant – Following advice from the Town Council’s contractor for pest control, carpets and plastic sheeting have been banned as weed suppressant because they provide an ideal environment for rats. However, you may use a proper weed suppressant membrane which allows water to drain through.
Bees – The Committee, with the Town Council’s approval, have agreed that bee hives may be sited on allotments where practical. If you are thinking of keeping bees and may wish to site them on your plot, please speak to the Warden and neighbouring plot holders before you go ahead.
Fruit Trees and Bushes – Fruit bushes are allowed on plots, however, in your Tenancy Agreement fruit trees are prohibited. There is now a concession on this where fruit trees are now permitted but must be kept to a maximum of 2 metres high and should ideally be of dwarf stock, espalier or cordon variety.
Your Membership Fees
It is not mandatory to become a member of the Allotment Society when you rent a plot from the Town Council. However, as a member you are entitled to use the Society’s equipment i.e. rotavators, strimmers and on some sites mowers, as well as miscellaneous equipment such as wheelbarrows and will be covered by the Society’s insurance whilst operating any machinery. Non-members do not have access to this facility. Also as a member you are able to take advantage of the discount seed scheme run annually by Adrian Dorney saving 40% on catalogue prices. We also hold social events i.e. talks/presentations, barbecue, quizzes, skittles and outings. Unfortunately, these have become less frequent due to the poor response from our members, we really do need you to support our efforts to provide these social events or there will be little point in continuing to hold them. We would value your contribution as to what you think members would be interested in and where you think your money would be best spent. Please email us or ring 01249 658467 and we will be keen to hear your views.
Use of Society Equipment by Members
At this time of year due to heavy demand, it will be necessary to contact your site warden to arrange use of equipment such as rotovators, mowers and strimmers. It has become an issue due to the negligence of some members returning equipment dirty, damaged/broken or empty of fuel (where it should be returned full). Parts do wear out and accidents do happen, but we need to know when this occurs to enable us to effect repairs. Nothing can be more frustrating than to turn up having arranged to use machinery and finding it is unusable due to somebody else’s lack of consideration. Please ensure you use the correct clean fuel and are fully aware of the procedures for starting and proper use of the relevant piece of machinery. More information can be sought from the site warden. Sorry for the moan, but we would ask you to please think of your fellow plot holders when returning equipment.