Archfields Allotment Association
Please scroll down for information about our site
and information about use of allotments during the pandemic
We are a community of people who enjoy allotment gardening, growing produce and flowers. The Allotment Committee is made up of volunteers; we work together to maintain the site and keep it running well, as stewards responsible for handing the land on to new generations of plotholders.
The Trading Hut is a small shop, staffed by volunteers, which is open Sunday mornings 11-2 for most of the year. We rent out gardening equipment such as strimmers and mowers. We sell compost, manure, fertilisers, garden-related gear, at competitive prices.
To apply for a plot, contact the Lettings Secretary on archfields.lettings@ gmail.com
You'll be sent an application form. When plots are available you'll be asked to come look around and talk to us. We are interested in renting plots to keen gardeners, but lack of experience is no obstacle to joining.
We will keep you informed about anything that affects our allotment site, including any significant weather events.
MONDAY 1 JUNE: BROKEN LOCK AND KEYS TO THE GATE.
Apologies to all plot holders inconvenienced by the broken lock. New locks have been ordered and we will arrange to give out keys as soon as we possibly can do so. Please remember that during this pandemic, services such as locksmiths have been shut, or hampered by illness and loss of staff. We will notify you by email when the new lock will be up and working and when we will exchange new for old keys.
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: The situation is changing quickly, but as of now (June 2020) Archfields Allotments remain open.
Even with the gradual changes to lockdown conditions, please remember that some plot holders may be particularly vulnerable to Coronavirus and that the virus has not gone away: PLEASE MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING AND KEEP 2 METRES APART. Please don't bring visitors to the site. Wash hands frequently. We urge you to read the following guidelines from the National Allotment Federation. These guidelines specify two important rules under Covid-19 law that must be followed:
1. NO BONFIRES ON THE SITE regardless of the time of year or day of the week. NO BARBECUES AT ALL. This is because people in surrounding houses may be ill and already struggling to breathe; they will suffer from smoke from fires.
2. NO VISITS BY NON-MEMBERS AND NO GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN 6 PEOPLE. The lockdown has only partially eased restrictions on social gatherings outside. Allotment sites must not be used to circumvent the law on social distancing. Police may be called to intervene if there are any parties on site.
Here are the National Allotment Society Guidelines in full:
Covid 19 Emergency Measures
CORONAVIRUS: What the NAS is doing to help members
The National Allotment Society is working to provide clarity for our members on what the virus outbreak and ensuing impacts will mean for Allotment Holders. As more information become available, we will be updating our advice to our members, please read the Q & As below on how the outbreak is affecting Allotment Sites and their use.
UPDATED 05/06/2020 - (Gatherings and toilets))
NAS Q & A On Allotments and Social Distancing
Protect yourself and your family
We are all living through a crisis, the likes of which the country has not experienced since war time. The community spirit that exists on allotment sites is now vitally important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times and take all the steps you can to reduce the risk of contagion from the Covid- 19 virus when you visit the plot.
Covid -19 - The virus that causes COVID 19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. The droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and they quickly fall and contaminate floors and surfaces.
Smaller airborne particles can remain in the air for some time. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of a person who has Convid-19- hence the 2m social distancing requirement, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
05/06 As lockdown restrictions begin to ease it is important that plot-holders do not drop their guard and remember that those over 70 years of age, regardless of general health are particularly vulnerable and should be limiting any contact with people outside of their household.
Can I still work my allotment during the Covid19 lockdown?
Yes, allotments are a great way of both getting exercise and obtaining food during this crisis.
Can I visit the allotment with my family?
Yes, government guidelines state that you can exercise with members of your household
How long can I stay at the plot?
The Government have now removed the limit on exercise time.
How can I ensure my family’s and everyone else’s safety at the plot?
Do not attend the plot if you have coronavirus symptoms or a family member is self-isolating
Take a flask of hot water, soap and paper towels to the plot with you (cold water will work too).
Use hand sanitiser (should be 60% alcohol content) before entering the site and opening any gate locks
Wash hands for at least 20 seconds after closing the lock, dry with a paper towel
The most effective part of hand washing is the drying using preferably paper towel to remove the layer of dead skin scales - on which virus and bacteria sit. Paper towel to compost heap.
DO NOT touch your face after using anything that has been touched by other people- use an elbow to work the push taps.
Wash your hands again for 20 seconds, dry with a paper towel before opening and closing the lock to leave the site
Use hand sanitiser after closing the lock
Wash hands when you get home
Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2 metres
If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
Do not share tools
Do not wash your hands in water troughs
I am self-isolating or shielding, cannot go to the allotment and worried about losing my plot, what should I do?
Please make sure that you inform your Council Allotment Officer or Allotment Association that you are unable to visit the site, preferably in writing, so that they can make allowances for your situation.
What changes should Allotment Associations make to site management?
Pin up information about social distancing and hygiene on a notice board or the gate.
It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women.
Undertake risk assessments and take appropriate action to reduce hazards around any areas of the site that could cause contagion e.g. communal water troughs, taps, and gate locks.
Gatherings Associations holding outdoor meetings need to be aware that any gatherings of over 6 people (even if they are socially distanced) are illegal. Your plot-holders may also be asking for a loosening of access restrictions, we would suggest that a full risk assessment is carried out before any changes are made.
- All communal facilities including toilets should remain closed
Communal Water Points many sites will have communal taps and water troughs, the use of which could potentially spread the disease. The water supply itself is chlorinated https://www.wessexwater.co.uk/coronavirus. Associations may want to consider a system whereby volunteers fill up plot-holder’s water butts from the taps. The volunteers would wear single use gloves for de-gloving advice) and follow good practice around social distancing and hygiene.
Toilets - the Society's view is that most allotment association's do not have the capacity to fulfill the necessary requirements to safely open and clean site toilets, especially as most are compost toilets with no running water and where bleach/disinfectant should not be introduced to the system. We would also question whether it is reasonable for an association to ask volunteers to carry out this risky activity. Public Toilets that are open are subject to regular (more than once a day) deep cleans by operatives in disposable PPE and are closely supervised. The government also advises people to avoid public toilets.
Shops - many of you may be aware that Garden Centres have begun to re-open and are considering re-opening your Allotment shops. The Society considers that unless you are able to comply with the stringent conditions within the Horticultural Trades Association guidance for Garden Centres ,that Allotment shops should remain physically closed with an online/remote system in place.
Bonfires and BBQs - Could those Associations who allow bonfires all year round ask people to consider their neighbours and not burn anything during this covid19 emergency. Many sites are surrounded by houses where vulnerable people may be getting their only bit of fresh air through an open window. This consideration also applies to BBQs.
Non-Urgent: Dial 101 to report a crime after it has taken place.
National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners Ltd
Archfields and Covid-19. At the moment and subject to change:
· Plot holders who are over 70, have underlying health conditions or pregnant women must follow guidance and information from the government, this is available from government websites, news channels and Age Concern.
· Plot holders who are self-isolating because they have the symptoms of coronavirus must not visit the site until they are out of self-isolation
· Plot holders who are self-isolating due to someone they live with having symptoms of the virus must not visit the site until they are out of self-isolation
· Please pay attention to notice boards
· Visit Archfields Website at “archfieldsallotments.co.uk” for updates
· Restrict visits to plot holder and immediate household members
· Do not bring visitors to the site during this time
· Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
· Use hand sanitiser before opening and after closing the main gate
· Observe “Social Distancing” with each other to 2-3 metres
· Do not share tools
· Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshake
· Do not wash your hands in water troughs
If you are unwell and cannot attend the allotment for a period of time, please let someone know. Others may be able to help out with jobs like watering etc. The committee will then know that the plot isn’t being neglected.
Government advice is being updated regularly and this advice may change.
Please look out for others and stay safe.
We will post common questions and some answers here.
The full list of regulations governing the allotment association will be given out to all plot holders. The full list of regulations applies to all plot holders, at all times. Here are excerpts, numbered as in the full list, which give information found in the Regulations that may be most frequently referred to in maintaining the site.
#6. Allotments are let to Tenants solely as allotment gardens, as provided for in the provisions of the Allotment Acts 1908 to 1950 as to allotment garden tenancies, and the provisions of these Acts apply accordingly. Allotments are to be wholly or mainly cultivated by the Tenant for the production of vegetables or fruit crops for consumption by the Tenant and their family.
#14. Tenants shall keep their allotments reasonably free from weeds and rubbish, and otherwise maintain them in a reasonable state of cultivation to the satisfaction of the Association.
#17. DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BONFIRES AND BBQS ARE NOT ALLOWED Under the rules during normal times, Bonfires for the burning of vegetable matter may be lit by allotment holders on their plots only on one specified day of the month during the months May to September, and those days will be posted on the site and on this website. Bonfires may be lit at any time on any day during the months October to April, but not before 1PM on Sundays.When permitted, bonfires must be kept under control at all times and not left unattended, and must be completely extinguished before the Tenant leaves the site. Plastics or other material that might cause foul smoke or dangerous fumes must not be burnt on bonfires.
#18. Tenants wishing to erect a greenhouse, shed or other structure must first seek the written permission of the Committee.
The following text has been added as clarification to this regulation:
Rules governing structures erected on your plot:
If you want to build a greenhouse, poly tunnel, shed or patio on your allotment, you need to apply for permission from the Allotment Committee. Here are the maximum sizes for each type of structure:
1. Shed – bought or made [W: L] 1.8m x 2.4m
2. Patio – grass or paved [not cemented in] [W: L] 3.3m x 3.3m
3. 2 Poly-Tunnel [ bought] [W: L] 2.4m x 3.6m
4. Greenhouse - bought or made [W: L] 2.4m x 3.6m
All half plot sheds must occupy shared space on plot furthest away from foot path.
1. Shed – bought or made [W: L] 1.2m x 1.8
2. Patio – grass or paved [not cemented in] [W: L] 1.8m x 1.8m
3. 1 Poly-Tunnel [ bought] [W: L] 1.8m x 3.6m
4. Greenhouse - bought or made [W: L] 1.8m x 3.6m
The combined categories will not exceed 20% of a full or half plot.
A Plot Holder must apply in writing to the Allotment Committee for permission to erect one structure from each Structure Category.
Each request must state which category the intended structure relates to.
Each request must include plans of the structure.
The Committee must approve the structure position before permission is granted.
The Plot Holder must receive their written permission before any work is undertaken.
All structures must be safe and sound and made of appropriate materials and in keeping of the surroundings.
A Committee Member must inspect the completed work to ensure it complies with the written permission before that structure can be used.
Any structure which fails to meet the permission agreement must be dismantled or rectified to comply with the written permission and be re-inspected by a Committee Member.
All structures must abide by the current Height Rule.]
#28. Hosepipes may be used on the site, subject to water company regulations. Hoses must be held in the hand at all times and must not be left unattended. Sprinklers, irrigation systems and the like are forbidden.
#29. Tenants must not park or cause to be parked any motor vehicle or wheeled vehicle on any allotment or on any part of the site except in designated parking areas and only when in attendance on the site.
PLEASE NOTE, under the heading of parking, that we have adopted a system of car registration, and that on the weekends from Friday morning through Sunday night, only one car per allotment plot holder will be allowed to park on the site. We ask that any guests of plot holders park outside the site. Please make sure that your guests park their car with care, do not block the site entrance, and do not obstruct the access road.
Information to come, with photos: Strimming down the tall grass, deciding on where to put compost bin, choosing a system of raised beds or digging the entire plot, covering the beds to maintain a weed-free growing area. What crops to grow, how to start with seedlings or plug plants, dealing with crop-destroying pests, netting. Feeding the soil, not the plant.