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Carlton Allotments, information and guidelines. 

   

The allotments are situated on Church Field, The Moor, Carlton, on land owned by the Diocese of St Albans. The Field is administered by the Carlton Garden and Allotment Society (CGAS). The Committee of the Society reviews and reprints the guidelines annually and any problems with the guidelines can be raised at the Society’s AGM which usually takes place in October. Application for the tenancy of a plot, and payment of the rent, indicates acceptance of these guidelines.

 

1. Rent

The current rent is £1 per pole from which 62.5p is paid to the Diocese (less a 10% handling charge). The remainder is retained by the Society and contributes towards insurance, upkeep of the field etc. Plot holders are also required to be members of the Society - subscription £2.50 per named member.  It is necessary that all regular users are named for third party insurance purposes.  Any other person helping on the allotment should be accompanied by a named member. Plots are normally rented from October to October and rents should be paid at the Annual Show in August/September, or if is this not possible at or before the AGM in October. An invoice will be sent to each plot holder with the summer newsletter. Payment should be made to the Treasurer (Louise Roberts, 2 Carriers Way, Carlton). It is the responsibility of the plot holder to see that the rent is paid. The Treasurer should not need to chase after members! Cheques should be made out to 'The Carlton Garden and Allotment Society'. If a plot is taken over before the beginning of May (i.e. before the beginning of the growing season) the full year’s rent is due. For plots taken over later a discount may be negotiated.

 

2. Main expenses to be met by Society

  • Insurance - Public liability insurance for named members.
  • Mowing of field, cutting hedges, purchasing weed killer (see item 11)
  • Affiliation fees to NSALG (see item 12)
  • Other expenses include support for village events (we are a ‘village organisation’).

 

3. Plots available

There is no such thing as a ‘standard allotment’ at Carlton. Allotment size is flexible as plots are rented per pole. Contact person for new allotments: Sue Harrison, Allotment Manager Tel no 720924, Email sue@tothebarns.co.uk

 

4. Sheds, greenhouses and other gardening-related structures can be constructed on the plots but their safety and security remain the responsibility of the plot holder. The Society is not responsible for any damage or loss of items left on the allotments.  Any such structures must be removed before a member gives up the plot, unless, by agreement the new tenant takes it on.

 

5. Livestock may not be kept on the plots. Any dogs brought on to the allotments must be kept under strict control.

 

6. The Allotment Field is not a playground. Children should be encouraged to learn about gardening and they are welcome on site when they are assisting members with their plots and learning new skills - however they should always be supervised by a responsible adult who must ensure that they do not wander on to other members’ plots and do not cause damage. Children should not be allowed to play by or in the brook.

 

7. Maintenance of plots

A plot holder is responsible for keeping his allotment in a reasonable condition. This includes strimming or mowing the paths around your allotment. In addition, IF your allotment is adjacent to a peripheral hedge, it is your responsibility to keep the inside of the hedge tidy (the Society makes arrangements for the top and outside of the hedges to be maintained). An allotment is not to be used as a place to dump material that is not of any obvious use in growing plants or maintaining an allotment. If junk is left on the site it may encourage fly tippers to add even more. Plot holders should try to prevent ‘their’ weeds from seeding and affecting other people’s plots. They must be aware that if their plot is neglected and becomes overrun with perennial weeds it will be a long and difficult job for the next tenant to bring it back into reasonable condition. If a plot holder has difficulties we will try to help but if the weed situation is dire the committee reserves the right to take action (such as calling in a professional gardener with the necessary equipment to clear the weeds) and have the bill sent to the plot holder. This situation should not however occur and should the same situation happen a second time, the warning process will be put into effect (see boxed section). Take care if using chemical sprays, do not allow spray drift. Ensure that containers of spray do not drip. Treat water used to rinse spray containers as potentially toxic. Consider other plot holders!  Some plot holders wish to use their plots ecologically. If you have any disagreements with neighbouring plot holders try to settle them amicably, only involve the committee as a last resort.

 

8. Bonfires 

Plot holders should be mindful of the instruction given by the Borough Council that green garden waste should be composted and not burnt. However when plot holders find it necessary to dispose of small amounts of woody pruning or diseased plant material these should be placed on the communal bonfire heap(s) in the Allotment Field. These change location from time to time, so if you are unsure of the location, please check with the Allotment Manager. The material will be burnt by a designated allotment member with assistance if required, when the material is dry and the wind is blowing from an appropriate direction. The designated member should be aware that bonfires must be in a cleared area, well away from hedges or any property (minimum of 10 metres) and should only be lit when the wind is blowing away from adjacent houses (bonfire smoke has caused aggravation to local residents and brings the Allotment Society into disrepute). Any fires must be kept under observation until they have burnt out. Obviously the only material that can be burnt on the Allotment Field is gardening-related waste and no furniture or household material or anything generating toxic fumes may be added to allotment bonfires.

 

9. Access

There is a public right of way across the allotment field which must be kept clear at all times. Nothing should be done which might endanger users of the public footpath.  There are also pathways between the plots which enable the tenants of plots further from the main path to reach their allotments. Please ensure that your neighbours have reasonable access to their plots and do not block their passage with tools, debris etc. Failure to leave paths clear invalidates our Insurance policy. There should always be at least a barrow width on an access path so that compost etc can be brought in.  Be very careful not to damage anything if walking along the edge of another plot. The field is gated - please close the gate on leaving.  An open gate can be an invitation to illicit occupation.

 

10. Water.

There is no piped water on the allotment field. Water from a stream is available at your own risk - be careful on the banks. Do not pollute the stream and keep it clear of debris. There is also water available from water catchment tanks near the allotment entrance. Please use considerately.

 

11. Maintenance of field

Uncultivated areas may be mown from time to time to keep the field tidy and to provide less cover for rabbits. Most other maintenance is done on do-it-yourself basis to keep costs down, more help is always welcome.

 

12. The National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (NSALG)

NSALG represents allotment holders nationally and affiliation indicates our support for the movement. As members of NSALG we also have access to legal information and advice on allotment issues. NSALG produces quarterly magazines and the CGAS receives, which are circulated to Society members.

 

13. Events

There are a number of CGAS events during the year - the AGM in October, a Plant Sale Morning in May (refreshments available) and the Show in September. These will be advertised on the notice board by the main gate, The Bridge and on the Society’s website.  Please support them!


 

14. The Society

The main committee of the CGAS deals with the running the Allotment Field and general Society issues. There is a special Show Sub-Committee, which concentrates on planning and running the Show. More volunteers for either committee would be welcome. Further information can be found on the Society’s website, which can be accessed from the Carlton Village website (www.carltonwithchellington.co.uk)

 

IMPORTANT: Payments and Allotment Maintenance

It is important that subs are paid promptly. To allow for holidays and other commitments subs can be paid up to 1 November. At this point a letter will be sent from the Secretary to all non payers, which they will need to sign for on receipt, asking them to pay within seven days. If there is no response to this letter it will be assumed that the member does not want to be a member anymore and you will cease to have an allotment or be a member of the Society (please note this rule applies to members with or without an allotment).

 

It will be your responsibility to remove any equipment (that includes sheds) left on the site that you wish to keep and you should liaise with John Burke about when you will do this. If you fail to make contact with him on this matter, anything left behind will be disposed of.

 

As a member and allotment holder it is your responsibility to keep your plot and surrounding area in good repair. If your plot is neglected, especially early in the rental year, you will need to alert John Burke as to the reason why this is happening. Allowance will be made for anyone who has a family crisis or other such problem and the member will be allowed to keep the plot until the end of the current subscription year (should this occur late in the subscription year they will be allowed to keep the plot until the end of next subscription year).

 

If no such problem is logged an attempt at contacting the member will be made by John Burke. If this proves difficult a letter will be sent from the Secretary to ascertain why the plot is being neglected. If there is no response or no good reason, the plot holder will be sent a written warning to tidy the allotment within the month. Failure to comply will result in their membership being terminated. This will also be confirmed in writing.

 

The Allotment Society reserve the right to terminate the membership of those who persistent neglect or misuse their allotment

 

Paul Harrison, Allotment Society Secretary                                             Final Revised April 2013