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has anybody taken over there council owned allotment site if so any tips ideas and general info we are being encouraged to take over our site



Hi Boltardy,
Yes, many years ago i asked to go on the waiting list and after 18 mths i got a phone call to say a plot had become vacant,
It was both a learning period from "hands on gardeners" and i became friends with some of the best people "male & later female" you could ever hope to meet.

Now the tick list you want to make up is, (11 checks to read)

(1) do you have a water suppy "tap" for your use!

Our allotment did have a shared tap and water trough for all members to use,

It can be a good thing not to be to close to the tap if you want peace as its a meeting point for all who want to fill up cans etc 'So if your plot is like the one i had and is at the far end of the plot,,,? you've a bit of a walk for water.

(2) Do you have a tool brick storage unit?
again you need a tool storage unit and if a brick one is part of the lease "great" if not "go to number 3"

(3) inspect the allotment and talk to the members and ask
"do you have any vandalism trouble? IE theft of veg, tools etc
(4) is the allotment site fenced off & gates locked of an evening? If so find out ref keys or times when the site will be open & closed!

(5) Is there washin/toilet on site "A thunder box"

(6)See if any more than 1/3 of the site is empty? & whats the general area like?

This can give you an idea how the site is being run,
IE most council sites have a committee and if the site is half empty it can be a sign the committee is'nt doing anything and if you want anything done it'll end up with you as the committee yourself,

If a site becomes or is half empty it can become a case of it's not worth the councils time and the next thing is the land is sold off and all plots taken back by the council.

(7) Has the site its own members shop for buying seeds fertilizer etc, these can be a good idea if members buy in bulk & for buying second hand tools or getting together to hire rotovators etc.

(8) Find out if you can grow flowers as well as veg,
some councils insist that the plot is for growing veg and not making a lawn with a few flowers,

(9) find out if you can errect a greenhouse or not!
Again some councils will & some will not let you have a greenhouse on site.

(10) if animals are allowed on the site, ie hens etc.
Now you may not want hens running about the place but if the rule says you can? again it can be a good thing in as much the owners will be on the site daily to feed/water But if you dont want or like hens etc it can be a pain.
(11) Parking ! Is there parking for your car (handy if its in the sites fenced area)

Now the state of the plot is a fact that only you can decide, ie i was so happy when i got my plot it didnt matter that the last owner was a man called "Tarzan"

It was a pure jungle, But if yours is like this then like myself you've a lot of work todo "But who said gardening was easy??

And two last tips, "First aid kit"
And if you have any problems ref fences around your plot
ie if the next plot has moved the fence on his side so he's taken part of your plot,
Take the complaint back to the council, let them sort it out, dont make the mistake of telling anyone to do anything, its not your job its the owners 'council"
And you dont want to fall out with other members.

Well you did ask and i had my plot for 15 year until the council gave us all 6 month notice of a housing project on our site,
Sad as i had some smashing times and every saturday morning it was tea/coffee & bacon toasties and a laugh.

Good luck and if you want a few allotment tales just ask ive 15 years of them.
Regards Dungy

20 May, 2013



24 May, 2013

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