News & Information

Farming & Gardening in a Biodynamic Way

The first of what is hoped to be a series of illustrated talks related to environmentally friendly and sustainable ways of improving biodiversity one village at a time. 
The Sustainable Marshfield Group are really excited that two leading figures of the Biodynamic Association are coming to talk on the Easter weekend, Saturday, April 11, 11-12.30 am about farming and gardening in a Biodynamic way.

National Open Garden Scheme

The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,700 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake. Now the weather is improving it’s the perfect time to head out around the county for some inspiration!

Upcoming events around Wiltshire for May can be found here. For the entire 2020 calendar please click here.

Alternatively, check out their Facebook page for more up to date news and information including last minute changes.

Batheaston Garden Group Presents:
A talk by Christine Walkden

Follow this link for more information

Pippa Greenwood: My Life In Gardening

Thursday 5th March 2020 7:30pm @ The Neeld Hall

Gardener’s World presenter and horticultural expert Pippa Greenwood will be joining us for My Life in Gardening. Her talk will be filled with plenty of anecdotes, stories, and behind the scenes snippets from Wisley, Gardeners’ World, Daytime Live, Gardeners’ Question Time and more.

Follow this link to the Neeld Community & Arts Centre to buy tickets.

Best Allotment Competition 2019

There results are in! You can find them attached here: BEST ALLOTMENT RESULTS 2019. Congratulations to the winners and great effort on everyone. Photos of some of the winning plots are below.

Congratulations to Mr R Proctor for winning the Best overall plot on all sites for 2019.


MyHarvest project from the
University of Sheffield

The MyHarvest project from the University of Sheffield that aims to assess the benefits of growing food in urban areas. Volunteer participants undertake to keep an allotment diary over a 12 month period, recording basic information about activity such as sowing and harvesting, time spent, and so on. A member of the society started a diary on the 22 March 2018, so is approaching completion. The society member shares:

“It has been really interesting to keep a regular record in the folder supplied, and I would encourage others to get involved. I came across the project via the RHS magazine but only recently visited the MyHarvest website which has more detailed information, (including how to get involved). Why not have a look and maybe join in?”

Free manure available for collection

  • Free horse manure for collection, bring your own bags, take as much as you want at Gate Farm opposite Abbeyfield school.
  • Free guinea pig manure for collection, up to 12 extra large black bags available weekly near Malmesbury Road, contact Jackie Smith on the comments section of the Homepage.

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 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.

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