Plot holder guide

Introduction

We hope that this will enable you to get the most out of your plot on Calico Field. As SPAA is a charitable concern, run by our own community, we are all responsible, not only for the maintenance of our individual plots but also for the whole site. For you to gain maximum enjoyment, you are asked to adhere to the simple practices and guidelines which are outlined in this document. They are designed to keep you safe and to help you in your allotment activities and those of your fellow plotters. You are encouraged to participate in the working parties which are organised from time to time and to attend the social events which often form the basis for our fundraising. All our funds come from your subscriptions and any funds we can raise during the year. These are put back into the Association and are used to buy equipment and help finance the maintenance of the infrastructure. So please support SPAA in every way you can and enjoy your time on Calico Field!

This guide is not a replacement for your licence, which is the official, legal document.

Responsibilities

As Licensees, you have agreed and signed up to your responsibilities as outlined in your Licence Agreement. This details some common sense rules which enable the smooth running of the site. As a reminder, here are a few of the most important:

  • DO NOT:
    • Remove or move the corner posts which mark the boundary of your plot.
    • Plant trees on your plot
    • Keep animals or pets on the plot
    • Use a hosepipe
    • Obstruct or damage the paths
  • DO:
    • Ensure that your plot is well-maintained, that weeds are kept down and are not allowed to seed
    • Remove non-combustible waste from the site
    • Acquaint yourself with the Health and Safety Risk Assessment and Guide
    • Supervise children
    • Keep dogs under control and clear up any dog-fouling
    • Keep the site safe by locking up the sheds and main gate securely

Maintenance and Equipment

SPAA is responsible for the maintenance of the whole site, including the public footpath that borders the Calico Field. Working parties are called periodically to help with hedge cutting, repairing of the boundary fence, levelling ground etc. You are charged a small annual maintenance fee for the professional mowing of the main paths but each plotter must liaise with their neighbour to keep the minor paths mown and boundaries trimmed and weed free.

Drinking water is available from the tap by the trough at the carpark fence. All water troughs are available for use but are turned off in the winter. Please be aware that expenses for running the site, including water and insurance, come solely from SPAA’s fundraising endeavours.

SPAA tries to arrange deliveries of horse manure and bark chippings for use on the allotments. If you have a contact for similar, please contact a member of the Committee.

SPAA has wheelbarrows and a petrol generator for communal use which can be borrowed. These are kept in the sheds and must be cleaned after use. Please also lock up the petrol generator after use. Training from a Committee member is required before use of the petrol generator.

Rules for Using the Petrol Generator

The SPAA has purchased a petrol generator to allow electrical equipment (e.g. strimmers, lawn mowers, hedge cutters etc) to be used on the plots. This will allow plot holders to use their own electrical gardening equipment on their plots for maintenance and upkeep. NOTE: plot holders must ensure the electrical equipment they use meets the relevant electrical regulations.

The petrol generator is stored in the main shed and locked using a chain link and padlock. Return the generator to the same location, lock and cover with a large garden sack.

The petrol generator should be pulled along on its purpose-built trolley. The generator should never be tilted, other than the slight angle when being pulled. Follow the instructions stored in the shed to start and stop the generator.

Security

Security of the site is important to one and all as well as to the neighbouring properties. With good practice and attention to some aspects specific to the Calico Field Allotment site we can keep the site safe and secure.

There are some obvious things we can do for security. Please ensure you lock the access gate. If in any doubt, lock it as all plot holders have the code to get in or out. This is especially important if you’re working on the site and away from the first few plots, and especially at the middle to the top of the site. Someone could easily open the unlocked gate and come in to remove items from the site or vehicles without those working on their allotment ever noticing.

Lock your vehicles and keep belongings out of sight. This is especially important when you’re working away from the car park.

It’s in your interest to minimise the valuables you leave anywhere on your plot or the site. SPAA is not responsible for any loss, theft or damage.

Please also ensure that you keep an eye open for the general security of the site. For example, if you see the community shed open, and there is nobody obviously using it, please lock it and report the event it to the Committee. Thank you.

Health and Safety Risk Assessment

Most of the site safety is common sense; however, it’s important in this day and age, and for insurance and SPAA licence compliance, that we include a Health and Safety Risk Assessment. You will find a colour version, and the most up-to-date version of this table of Risk Assessments up at the allotment. Please read it.

Parking, Cars and Bicycles

At peak times, the allotments can often become very busy. People come and go all day. We ask that you please park tidily, leaving adequate space for others to move freely. Ideally, especially at busy times, please park facing the front fence. Please be prepared to move your vehicle if you’ve had to block someone in.

If you cycle, please leave your bicycle parked safely, and locked, and away from the areas where it might cause a hazard to other allotmenteers and their transport.

To avoid damage to the site, please, no vehicles of any kind are permitted anywhere on the site beyond the car park, without express permission. Bicycles can, of course, be taken to the plots.

If you have something heavy to move, please arrange for assistance, or use one of the shared wheelbarrows in the community shed, or make use of the communal trolley in the locked shed.

Please take great care, especially when leaving the site. Part Lane is a derestricted speed limit road and some users seem to think this means it’s safe to travel at high speeds.

The car park has an anti-weed membrane beneath the surface and is easily damaged by puncturing or tearing. Please take care to avoid wheel spins or sharp turns.

Sheds and Structures

Your licence explains the rules about sheds and their positioning; however, please ask a committee member before erecting anything that would have any height to it. Minimising the height helps keep the plots looking good, lessens light disturbance to your neighbours, and helps retain the wonderful views from Calico field. Obviously, no permanent bases or structures are permitted on the plots or the adjacent allocated shed positions.

Polytunnel Rules

  • Use and enjoy the polytunnel, but within your allotted space.
  • No wheelbarrows are permitted inside the tunnel
  • Use plastic trays under growbags (eg a Hoselock vegetable planter with an under- watering reservoir fitted or use seed trays etc.) No plant pots will be allowed without a suitable tray underneath; this is to prevent roots from penetrating through the membrane.
  • The ground cover membrane is not to be pierced with canes etc so please be careful (another reason for using the veg planter or Gardman growbag cane supports).
  • No diseased plants are allowed. The SPAA Committee has the right to remove any plant they feel will cause disease problems to others. No tables are allowed. Please use the staging provided.
  • Use the double doors as entry and exit points; the single door is for air ventilation only.
  • Please respect the tunnel cover; it is fragile, so care must be taken not to damage it.

Licence Termination

Termination of your Licence is a last resort. If you have any difficulties with maintaining your plot, please let a member of the Committee know and we will try to help in any way we can.

However, please note the following which is a short summary of the principles of termination as per your Licence Agreement: * At least one quarter of your allotment should be under cultivation after 3 months. * At least three quarters of your plot should be under cultivation after 12 months. * We will write to you if your plot is poorly maintained. * You will have 4 weeks to rectify the situation. * If nothing has been done within these 4 weeks, we reserve the right to give you a further 4 weeks’ notice of termination of your licence. * You must remove all personal items and structures (other than fencing or raised beds) including your shed, or arrange to sell these on eg via a Committee member. Please remove any rubbish and leave the plot tidy.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Below is a chart showing the site layout and plot numbers.