Although there has been some degree of relaxing of government lockdown measures, to enable shops to open and people to return to work, guidance for allotments remains unchanged.
It is important that we maintain stringent adherence to The National Allotment Association's basic guidance:
- Only members of your household on your plot
- Observe “Social Distancing” with each other - 2 metres
- Do not share tools
- Do not wash your hands in water troughs
- Only use your own water tap key
- Wash and carefully dry your hands when you get home.
The EDAA online shop continues to operate from the main shop at Hamilton Lane for all plotholders. Plotholders can put in an online order for a range of items and payment is made by BACS. Purchases are put on a table outside the Hamilton Lane shop for plotholders to collect at an allocated time slot. Check out the shop stock for new items and new prices. Details of how to order can be found on the shop page of this website.
Currently the committee cannot meet face to face to discuss the running of the site but, behind the scenes a lot is going on to ensure that the site can remain open, that plotholders stay safe, and that people have what they need to keep growing.
Security of both sites is clearly our current priority. We have made a comprehensive assessment of all the gates and are looking at some immediate measures to add spikes to the gates, to make the Hamilton Lane site more secure. But this work is ongoing and we will be considering some longer term and more expensive measures in the next year.
We will be contacting plotholders to ask for help with these jobs in the near future. Clearly, if we can find the skills to get these jobs done by our members, this will save the association money that can be used for other projects and improvements.
To enable us to safely open the toilets again permanently on both sites we need to install paper towel and soap dispensers in both toilets and arrange for them to be cleaned and checked daily. To date we have managed to arrange for Hamilton Lane toilets to be open at the weekend only. We understand that this will still limit the amount time people can be on site and we are working towards a solution.
The allotment rules are a necessary tool for the smooth running of the sites. We have been reviewing them to make sure they are comprehensive and clear. There is a new section about protecting wildlife and promoting biodiversity and the expectations about keeping livestock have been clarified.
The current run of hot weather means that water butts are emptying fast, so we remind plotholders to be responsible when using water. Please water your plot in early morning or the evening to make sure your plants get the full benefit by reducing water loss through evaporation. Spraying water across the whole plot only dampens the surface soil for a centimetre or so and your plants do not get “the drink” they need. It is much more effective to target water by really soaking the soil right at the base of the plant.
There have been a lot of new plotholders on both sites recently and most of them seem to be settling in by getting ground prepared. Established plotholders have, as usual, been generous with advice, spare seeds and seedlings to help them get started.
The slips for the wildlife hedge, planted across the winter at Pound Lane, have been cared for by three volunteers. So, thanks to Tony Hunter, Mark Cherry and Rosie Heavens, for taking that on; they have survived the baking weather and are beginning to establish. We hope, in years to come, they will provide both a wildlife corridor and a lovely boundary hedge.
Adrian Spiller is going to check the taps at Pound Lane in the near future. This will necessitate turning the water off in sections. He'll put up notices to let plotholders know when certain taps are out of action..