Site update – May 2016

Health & Safety

Our H & S project in April was a great success.  Many members removed glass, metal sheets, old wire fences etc. from their plots to the central collection point.

Two work parties demolished one very old and dangerous shed and collected other waste. The Committee thank them for their efforts. The waste was removed in two large grab lorries at a cost of just below £1,000.

Any waste still remaining on plots is now the sole responsibility of the tenant.


The Committee plan to introduce a key entry system to the Stock Lane site in light of concerns about the vulnerability of the site, fly-tipping and criminal damage/theft.  Many allotment sites already utilise an access security system.


The provision of manure organised by Tim MacPherson earlier this year was a great success and very popular among plot holders. Some twenty members made use of the service and contributed to the cost of truck hire and fuel.

A surplus of £60 was achieved which Tim has generously donated to Association funds.

We aim to repeat the supply of manure during September/October of this year from the same source and will be asking plot holders to express interest nearer to that time.


Two quotations for repairing the track have been obtained with two still outstanding.  As part of the track repair it is planned to provide a further passing place along the main track between the entrance and the main car parking area.

Grass cutting

The invitation to members to quote for the grass cutting contract was not a success and we are now inviting local businesses to bid for the work.

Spring plot inspections

May will see the first of this year’s plot inspections.  These are to support plot holders, encourage utilisation of plots and ensure land is well-managed, providing support and advice where needed.  Three members of the committee will complete the inspections, and contact individual plot holders as required.

The association isn’t looking for perfection and we understand that our members have different levels of skill, experience and time so please don’t worry unduly!  Our regulations only call for 75% of a plot to be cultivated and we are very pragmatic compared to many other allotment associations.


Warm weather is often the impetus for weeds to seed.  Even if you are unable to fully control the weeds on your allotment please try to remove seedheads to prevent your neighbours being effected and try to keep boundaries clear.


Kind regards,

IAA Chair

Rats in compost – is it safe to use the compost?

Rats in compost is a common problem and as is often the case, prevention is better than cure.

Kitchen waste,  especially cooked food,  should not be added to a compost heap – put it in  your Council food waste bin or wormery if you have one. Surplus produce left lying around e.g. old marrows and (unfortunately) sweetcorn before it is harvested will also attract vermin.

Compost from a source infested with rats will contain their urine and faeces, and possibly the organism responsible for Weil’s Disease (Leptospirosis).  It should therefore not come directly into contact with you or your fruit and veg.

This organism can survive in water but not in soil so the simplest solution is to spread your compost on bare soil or  dig it in and keep it away from crops you are about to eat.

Gloves should be worn when handling compost  and  all fruit and vegetables washed in clean water before eating.

Care should be taken not to contaminate the water supplies with tools or  produce  etc, which may have been in contact with infected material.