News & Information

National Garden Scheme UPDATE

4th June 2020

We are delighted to be able to start re-opening some of our gardens on a strictly pre-booked basis through our web site

All gardens that are re-opening will be listed on a weekly basis.  Please check each week to see which new gardens have been added or sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date.

To visit any of our gardens that are kindly re-opening you will need to pre-book a timeslot. Just enter the web site and you will see “our Gardens are re-opening” below that “book to visit a garden”. All the gardens opening in the next week will be there, scroll down to page 2 for Wiltshire gardens. More gardens will be added from Monday 1st June on a weekly basis.

This week in Wiltshire, we have four lovely gardens opening.  On Saturday 6th June West Lavington Manor is opening and on Sunday 7th June Ark Farm, New to us Fovant House and lastly Hyde’s House. Please see attached. A wonderful chance to get out and enjoy these different gardens, some will allow picnics, see details when booking.

I am sure you  will understand that due to the current situation we are having to set certain conditions so that everyone can enjoy our gardens safely, for example gardens sadly will be unable to serve teas but some gardens will still have plants by donation.

We are all looking forward to visiting the National Garden Scheme gardens that are kindly sharing their gardens with us.  The gardens will be looking wonderful after all this sunshine and our charities really do need all the support we can give them.

As a reminder the virtual tours on the NGS web site this week have a literary connection, a very enjoyable way to relax and see some fine gardens. So far over £72,000 has been donated to NGS in support our caring nurses in all the many ways that they care for us.

Horse manure, free to collector!

Available now from the farm opposite Abbeyfield School. Various stages of decomposition, please bring your own bags or trailer and help yourself! (posted Monday 13th April)

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?”

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.

4 thoughts on “News & Information

  1. Hi All – I am new to the gardening game, and not an official member of this site/forum yet, but have recently built a couple of modest raised beds to grow veg in my rear garden etc.
    Can anyone please advise where the best place/lowest price to get reasonable soil locally is (to fill 2 x beds each approx 8ft long x 3ft wide x 1ft deep), also some bags of compost and free/cheap manure to start my project off… please?
    Eg – Is the free manure opposite Abbeyfield School still available?
    Any advice warmly welcome.
    Kind Regards


    • Evening Darren,

      Thank you for your message.
      We haven’t been told the manure is all gone so we assume there is still some available, unfortunately we aren’t always told when things run out so fingers crossed. Most of the garden centres around the area offer good quality compost/manure for a decent price, Langley Nursery (01249 758271) usually have a great selection and will be incredibly helpful. There are farmers who will deliver manure but it is usually in very large quantities so may not be suitable for a smaller project!

      Good luck and happy gardening!


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