Friday, 21 November 2014

November Newsletter

November 2014 Newsletter

AGM

The AGM is on Sunday, 16th November at 10:45am.  Please try to ensure that you come.  We have been fully Self Managing for one year, and have made a good start on improving our site to maintain it for the future.  We now need to agree our short and long term priorities in order to meet the expectations and requirements.  The main issues for all sites are : boundaries; water; toilets; roads and paths; trees; funding; making links with the local community.  

The AGM is an opportunity to find out more about how our site is run, and share your views on the issues that matter to you, and get involved. 

Rents

Thank you to everyone who paid their rent on time last month.   Paying on time, every October, helps our site to run smoothly and efficiently, and greatly reduces the amount of work for the volunteers.  

Welcome

A big welcome to anyone receiving their first newsletter.  We have already started letting some of the plots which have become vacant this year, and there will be more new faces in the weeks to come.   The AGM is a great way to get to know your neighbours.

Bonfires

Bonfires are allowed at any time in November.  As ever, please be careful when lighting fires to ensure that there are no animals living there.  It's always better to light a small fire and feed material onto it, than to make a big pile and then set fire to it.  

Rubbish Collection

The Autumn rubbish collection will take place on Sunday, 23rd November.  This collection is only for materials which cannot be composted or burnt.  We can have bonfires at any time in November, making it the ideal month to clean up.  You will get information about what to do on the day of rubbish collection in an email.   In the meantime, please respect our site by keeping your rubbish on your plot.

Work Party
The Work Party on Saturday 18th October had a good turn out.  Many thanks to: Raphael, Angela, Alison, Marie, Brigid, Les, Mike, Aaron, Marco and Les.  Mike commented that it was better than a workout at the gym!

Our next Green Work Out (Volunteer Work Party) will be held on Saturday, 22nd November.   We hope to complete the dry hedging at the bottom of Field 2, Path 1, which will secure our boundary to the brook in this area.  It would be great to see those who have been on Work Parties previously, and we look forward to seeing some more  new faces.  We spend a couple of hours doing some good fun work and learning some new skills, and then have a nice lunch together.     
We will meet at 10:00am on Saturday 22nd November, outside the Trading Hut.  It helps to know how many people are coming for catering.  Please call Les on 07957 388 033

Shop

The shop is open in the Trading Hut on Sundays from 10am – 12pm, until the AGM.  


Jacquie's Tips 

Back by popular demand!  Jacquie has retired from our site, but has kindly offered to continue writing her tips for us all.  Many thanks to Jacquie. (re: tip on Blackberries, if you are not growing these to eat, Winter is a good time to dig them out).

ONIONS

When planting onion sets it is a good idea to set them on a base of sand (about a desert spoon full) under each set to prevent root rot.  Sand should be horticultural sand.

BROAD BEANS

Broad beams can be sown now while the soil is still warm.  The reason for doing this now is that they will not generally be attacked by black fly in the summer.  Growing them now will allow the stems to harden and be less tender later on.  Don't forget to cover the area with netting otherwise the pigeons will enjoy a winter feast.

BLACKBERRIES

Now is the time to prune blackberries.  Cut back to within 6 inches from the ground those branches which have fruited and tie in the new shoots ready for next season. 

BONE MEAL

Now is a good time to scatter bone meal .  It is a slow acting fertiliser and will slowly work its way into the soil during the winter months ready for next season.  Do not use fertilisersl such as growmore and fish blood and bone until the spring.  

LIME

Spread lime over areas where brassicas are to be planted next spring .  This helps to 'sweeten' the soil and combats club root.  Do not put on areas where potatoes will be planted.

BEANS 

This crop will have finished so when digging them up cut off the roots and dig into the area where this vegetable is to grow next season.  Roots of beans contain nitrogen and are a useful
source of feed.




October Newsletter

October 2014 Newsletter

*** Rent payment ***

Our annual rents are payable this month.   Rents must be paid in person, by cheque or cash.   You can pay your rent and renew your tenancy every Sunday in October, in the Trading Hut from 10am - 12:00 and on Saturday October 18th from 2-4pm.  If you are not able to come in to pay your rent on these days, you must get in touch to let us know.  

Frog Life Work Shop

The Work Shop run by Froglife was a great success.   The facilitator was very impressed with the amount and diversity of good habitat on our site, he was particularly impressed with one of the larger ponds, on Roz Daniel's plot.  Larger ponds are good for toads, but he told us even the smallest pond can support frogs and newts.  He gave a very informative talk about the habits and requirements of the reptiles likely to be found here, and the ways they are of benefit on an allotment site, particularly eating pests.  As well as ponds, log piles and compost heaps are great places for reptiles to live in.  

Unfortunately, Froglife won't be able to repeat the Work Shop on our site, because of funding issues, but he left posters and information in the Trading Hut.

Bonfires

Bonfires are allowed any day in October but only after 4pm.  As ever, please be careful when lighting fires to ensure that there are no animals living there.  It's always better to light a small fire and feed material onto it, than to make a big pile and then set fire to it.  Some people have asked about learning how to light bonfires  - if enough people are interested we will hold a Bonfire Workshop in November. 

Rubbish Collection

The Autumn rubbish collection will take place in November.  We can have bonfires at any time in November, making it the ideal month to clean up.  In the meantime, please keep your rubbish on your plots.  Recently there have been several incidents of dumping at the top of Holden Road field.  Please stop doing this.

Work Party
The Work Party on Saturday 27th September was a very enjoyable experience with 20 adults and two children taking part.  Many thanks to: Adele; Alison; Ann; Barbara and daughter; Brigid; Dan and daughter; Elsa; Ian; Kate; Marco; Marie; Nick; Raphael; Rebecca; Rick; Roz; Sean; Siobhan, and Slavek.  The main task was completing the dry hedging at the boundary to the brook in this area, in doing this we used a lot of the dead wood in the area, clearing disused plots, and letting in more light to the adjacent plots.  The 1st path on Field 2 was also cleared down to the last usable plot, which was previously accessed by walking across Plot 9.  All plots must have safe, fully accessible paths to and around them.  Please check your own to make sure that there are no obstacles or hazards, such as overhanging plants, which may lead to people walking on plots instead of paths.  
Our next Work Party will be held on Saturday 18th October.  We will continue dry hedging, to secure our boundary to the brook.  It would be great to see those who have been on Work Parties previously, and we look forward to seeing some new faces.  We spend a couple of hours doing some good fun work and learning some new skills, and then have a nice lunch together.     
We will meet at 10:00am on Saturday 18th October, outside the Trading Hut.  It helps to know how many people are coming for catering.  Please call Les on 07957 388 033

Tree Surgery

We have recently had the first of our tree works carried out, this entailed felling some large trees next to the footpath on Holden Road Field.  Although no one likes seeing nice trees cut down, under our Self Management responsibilities, we have to be meticulous about safety particularly in areas accessible to the public.  It has also resulted in much more light in this area, and the possibility of renting a plot which was previously unusable.   If you want any of the wood, please get in touch with Les.

Wildlife

Thank you to Siobhan and Rik for sharing their photo of a hedgehog on their plot, and for Alice for her pictures of frogs and slow worms.  We hope to have these pictures uploaded soon, together with the pictures from September's Work Party.  

AGM

The AGM is on 16th November at 10:45am.  Please put this date in your diary. The AGM is an opportunity to find out more about how our site is run, and share your views on the issues that matter to you.


Shop

The shop is open in the Trading Hut on Sundays from 10am – 12pm.  

Tips 

As well as planting onion sets and shallots, now is the time to be cleaning away old foliage on plants which are going to stand through the winter, such as chard, strawberries, and brassicas, to prevent rotting when the weather finally does become wet.  It's also a good idea to prepare for the Winter, by making sure you have enough fleece, netting and ground cover, before the shop closes in November.


September Newsletter

September 2014 Newsletter

Annual Show

The 69th Annual Show took place on the last Sunday of August, a lovely sunny day.   Many thanks to John Mant, Marjory Hilton and Sarah Wicken for organising this event, and to all those who helped set up for the Show.  Johnm Marjory and Sarah put in a lot of effort and time to update it and make it easy to enter.  John and Sarah also had a very good day, as the independent RHS judges awarded first in Show to Sarah, and Best in Show to John.  For full details of prizes, see attached.  Special mention goes to novice winners Siobhan Mannion and Elli Antoniou.

The Best Kept Plot was awarded to Paul and Ann Philips.  This is a lovely plot on Field 3, with a wide range of fruit and veg, and although they have only had the plot for three years, and are therefore technically new plot holders, it fully deserves 'best kept'.  The Best New Plot Holders are 3rd place : The Loca Family; 2nd place : David Russell; 1st place : Ralph Stacey.  There are certificates for all Best New Plot Holders, please get in touch.  There is a trophy for Best Kept Plot, which was not located at the time of the Annual Show.  Please get in touch if you have it, or know where it is.

There were fewer children's entries and jams and pickles than in the past, but there were very good entries in these categories.  There were no entries in the under 7s category, so, as Marjory commented, this is a great opportunity for any little ones next year!

The much missed Jacquie Jones, our former Chair person and Tips writer, came to give out the prizes.  You can find pictures of the Show and Prize giving ceremony on Flicker.

Raffle Prizes

Thank you to Elsa and Raphael Daem, who donated four wheel barrows; John Mant who donated a hose and reel; Siobhan Mannion who donated a bottle of champagne; Georg Bruegl who donated a bottle of whiskey; Aaron Deemer who donated a acupuncture session; Angela Davey who donated a glass salad bowl, and picnic set.

Thank you also to Marie Symington and Adele Coetze who baked lovely cakes and pastries for the refreshment stall.


Bonfires

Bonfires are allowed on the first Wednesday in September after 4pm.  The first Wednesday is 3rd September. 
Bonfires are not allowed on any other day or time this month except September 3rd after 4pm.  If you miss this, don't worry, in October, you can have bonfires after 4pm on any day of the week.

Tree Surgery
During September we will be carrying out the first of our annual tree surgery programme (this is one of our responsibilities under Self Management).  Fortunately, this means that we will have a supply of logs to share between our members.  Would all members who would like some of this wood either for burning or any other purposes, get in touch with Les Moore as soon as possible, so that we can try to ensure as fair a distribution as possible.  Les: 07957 388 033

Work Party
We will resume work on making our boundaries secure on Saturday 27th September.  This will involve some hedge laying and dry hedging.  It would be great to see all those who have been on Work Parties previously, and we look forward to seeing some new faces.  We spend a couple of hours doing some good fun work and learning some new skills, and then a nice lunch will be provided.   Securing our boundaries is a big issue for self management, and we need to ensure that this issue is addressed to meet the national allotment standards.  
We will meet at 10:30am on Saturday 27th September, outside the Trading Hut.  It helps to know how many people are coming for catering.  Please call Les on 07957 388 033

Wildlife

With the nesting season well and truly over, it is now safe to cut hedges back, and also a good time to turn your compost before the hedgehogs, slow worms, frogs and other beneficial wildlife settle down for their winter hibernations.



Shop

The shop is open in the Trading Hut on Sundays from 10am – 12pm.  


Dumping 

Thank you to John Mant who removed the rubbish mentioned in the last newsletter, and the extra rubbish which had been added in the meantime.  Please challenge anyone who you see dumping, and please pick up and remove rubbish as part of the regular maintenance of your parking area or path - this is everybody's responsibility under Self Management.  



August Newsletter

August 2014 Newsletter

Annual Show


Applications are coming in for the Annual Show on Sunday 31st August.  

The final deadline for applications is Wednesday 27th August.  This date will come round very quickly, so don't wait for the last minute.  

You can either complete the forms contained within the show guide and drop them off at the Trading Hut on a Sunday (10-12:00), or post them to the address shown.  Alternatively, you can use the electronic entry form in MS Word (attached) which can be completed and e-mailed to Marjory : Hiltonm@tiscali.co.uk

It's always good to see the wide range of vegetables, fruit, and flowers we grow on site, and the fantastic array of home made pickles, jams and cakes we make.   A new category this year is beer - thanks to Pete and Kavita from Field 2 who proposed this.   

The Annual Show is great day for all participants, a good way to celebrate the year's produce, and lots of fun for the children to take part.   There is a real chance of winning for everyone who takes part.  A tip is that the RHS judges want to see produce which is about the same size and shape in each entry.     

It would be great to have lots of volunteers to help set up.  This involves preparing the tables and benches for displaying the entries.  Please get in touch if you are around on the weekend before the Show, the day before the show, or early morning of the show.   The more the merrier.


Donations

We are looking for donations of good garden related items to be raffled at the Annual Show.  We also need prizes such as bottles of alcohol and chocolates, and prizes for the children.

Many thanks to Elsa and Raphael Daem, who have donated brand new wheel barrows to the Association, which are sure to be popular.


Dumping or What not to do with things you don't want

Even if you think that plot holders might want things things you are throwing away, please don't assume that leaving a note saying 'help yourself' makes it ok to dump.   Someone always has to remove dumped items to prevent our site becoming an unsightly rubbish tip.   It would be much appreciated if a plot holder could remove the boxes of bits and pieces from the Holden Road parking area, ideally this would be the person who left them there.  However, please don't wait for that to happen, or for someone on the Committee to do it, please take responsibility if you park in this area, and don't just ignore the problem.    

Please let us know when this has been done, and you will get a great big thank you.  

The sofa outside the gate was removed after it was reported to Barnet Council by John Mant and Sarah Wicken.  We were very lucky that the gate was not open when this was dumped as if it was inside the gate we would have to pay for it to be removed.  Please make sure to always lock the gate.  Remember, we all pay towards rubbish removal from our site, it is a significant expense, so dumping is a very serious breach of tenancy.  


Bonfires

Bonfires are allowed on the first Wednesday in August after 4pm.  The first Wednesday is August 6th. 
Bonfires are not allowed on any other day or time this month except August 6th after 4pm.  These rules are imposed on our site, so we have no control over them, and our neighbours can complain to Barnet Council if they see bonfires when they are not allowed.     
If you are on holiday, and have friends or relatives watering your plot while you are away, please ensure that they are aware of all of the site rules, and that they are pleasant and respectful to others.  It was upsetting to hear a lovely older plot holder say she felt too intimidated to tell a stranger, on a neighbours plot, that bonfires were not allowed recently.  We should all feel able to ensure that our site is safe and friendly, so ensure that you and your friends play by the rules, and do not upset or disturb others.   

Wildlife

Huge numbers of Meadow Brown and Ringlet butterflies have been seen this year.  Several types of Dragon flies and damsel flies have also been seen.


Shop

The shop is open in the Trading Hut on Sundays from 10am – 12pm.  


August tips

This is the time to sow oriental greens and mustards.  It's still possible to sow summer radishes, as well as Winter radishes, and even some more lettuces.





July 2014 Newsletter Plant Sale

Many thanks to all who donated plants and cakes to the Annual Plant Sale in June. It was great to see everyone who came ... but, sad to say, it was not as successful as previous sales have been. Comments include : “May is a better time to hold the plant sale”; “Plot holders who do not have email did not know about it”; “There were no notices on site about it”; “Many newer plot holders do not grow plants indoors/ greenhouse”; “The weather on the day was not great”. These comments will be considered when we start planning for next year’s event.
Despite this over £50 was raised. Many thanks to all of those who contributed their time and effort in ensuring that the day was so enjoyable.

Responsibilities of being a Plot holder

Now that the allotments are ‘self-managed’ there is an even bigger responsibility on all plot holders to help ensure that the allotments and site are well managed. This doesn’t only mean that you need to ensure that your plot is abundant in harvest and looking good - it is also about making sure that the environment is safe, is welcoming, is secure and is financially stable.
We all have a responsibility to make sure that we contribute to the Site’s welfare:
  • Please support the Volunteering parties that are run periodically to improve common ground across the site;
  • Please challenge (appropriately) and report any suspicious activity or misbehaviour;
  • Please ensure that you secure the gate after use;
  • Please respect and abide by all of the terms of use;
  • Please talk to your neighbours, to your Path Reps and to other plot holders - and please listen to them in return;
  • Finally, please visit the Trading Hut on a Sunday morning to see what’s happening, to share any concerns, raise any ideas, seek any help or offer any support.
Volunteering

An important contribution that you can make to the well-being of the Whetstone Stray community is by volunteering. Sacrificing just a few hours each year to help organise an event, clear a path, or help in the shop means that we can continue to be self-sufficient.

If you are able to help with any of the following activities, or provide any other support, please let us know:

The Site needs people who can plan and organise - we need people to help schedule, plan, arrange and manage the Plant Sale (and other activities & events). We need volunteers to help set up the plant sale and the Annual show the day before, and to help with sales and refreshments on the day itself.
  • We need creative ideas and suggestions to help publicise and raise enthusiasm for events. We need help to produce colourful and eye catching posters, to decorate and lay out the hut appropriately.
  • The Site needs people who can print out, pin up and distribute Newsletters and Notices on our Notice Board, and provide extra copies for the Trading Hut (all expenses for printing will be reimbursed). Keeping plot holders informed is very important - please check with your neighbours that if they don’t receive this Newsletter electronically, they know that there are copies in the trading hut.
  • And of course we need volunteers to do many other things - sit on the Committee, help with site maintenance, staff the shop, represent their paths as Path Reps, work occasionally in the shop, etc
To volunteer for any of these important posts - and do your bit for self management - please either respond by email, or talk to the Committee members and other volunteers in the Trading Hut on Sundays 10am - 12noon.
Remember - if every plot holder could contribute just half an hour each month, we would have volunteer resource available that is equivalent to employing somebody for 3 days a week from March to November to care for the Stray.


Path Reps

Ian, Raphael and Nick need support - each path should have two path reps. Please get in touch to volunteer.

Our Path Reps are:
Holden Field: Field 1:
Field 2 Path 1: Field 2 Path 3: Field 3:

Adele Coetzee & Giles Hill Sarah Wicken & John Mant
Ian Stewart
Raphael Daem
G’Nia Afsaneh and Georg Brueggl



Please help them all make your path better and safer and get in touch to share your ideas or concerns.

Wildlife

A young fox was rescued from a water butt ; there seem to be more green woodpeckers than usual, and a red kite has been sighted - these birds of prey were re-introduced in the Chilterns, but are very rarely seen so close to London.

Let us know about any interesting wildlife you have seen, and forward photos - hopefully we can add them next month.

Also look out for a forthcoming Wildlife Workshop, at which you will learn about identification and requirements of our common species, frogs, toads, common newt, slow worm, common lizard and grass snake & adder; as well as an introduction to gardening for wildlife. Space for the 2-hour Workshop will be limited, so look out for details by email and on the Notice Board.

Shop

The shop is open in the Trading Hut on Sundays from 10am – 12pm. It’s open, not only for fantastically priced allotment necessities, but also open for a chat or to share some news.

Good-bye and thank you to Jacquie / Welcome Giles

Chairperson, long-standing Committee member, Trading Hut Shop Manager and Tips writer, Jacquie Jones, has retired from our site.
We will all miss her, and wish her all the best.
Welcome to our new Acting Chairperson, Giles Hill, who has kindly agreed to take on this role until the AGM. 

June Newsletter

Plant Sale 

Our Annual Plant Sale is on Sunday June 15th.  Please drop off plants at the Trading Hut, on Saturday June 14th from 10am - 12:00.  We usually get a wide range of vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers.
If you like baking, please drop off cakes, biscuits and savouries on June 15th from 10am.  There will be a Refreshments stall.
The Annual Plant Sale is a great opportunity, especially for new plot holders, to get plants you may not have been able to grow from seed yourself, and to meet other plot holders over tea/ coffee and cake.  
We look forward to receiving all your donations.  All proceeds will go towards the Annual Show.  Who knows - you may donate or buy a plant that goes on to win a prize at the Annual Show!

Site Visit from Andrew Brown

Our site was visited by Andrew Brown, who has been working with the Barnet Federation to guide sites through the Self Management process.  Several issues were highlighted, and we will be sending a separate email with full information in the next few days.  

Path Reps 

We still need more volunteer path reps on Field 2.   Please get in touch to volunteer.

Volunteer Work Parties

Thanks to those on Holden Road who cut back the path line and mended a broken gate, before Andrew Brown's visit to the site.  We need to keep all paths clear of any obstructions, and this is even more important if they are open to the public.


Trespass

There have been a number of complaints recently of children wandering onto other people's plots, and of the theft of items such as planks of wood from plots.  

Please do not allow your children to wander around, they may be hurt on another person's plot, or they may accidentally damage crops etc.  

Please be aware that it is NEVER ok to take anything from anywhere on site.  Plots which may look abandoned may not be.   Anything that is left on a plot is the property of the next tenant, not your's to take.  The Committee has the power to revoke tenancies, and being caught taking things would be a good reason to use this power.

June Site Inspection

Every plot on the site will be inspected in June by Committee members.  All plots needs to meet our agreed minimum standards which are: one third cultivation in the first year; two thirds in the second year and a well maintained plot thereafter.  

We know about those plots where nothing or very little has been done, and it's too late to start now, so it would be really helpful if you talk to us, before we have to talk to you.  If you are having difficulties maintaining your plot, get in touch with the Rent Overseer on: 0754 6279631 You can also talk to the Volunteer Co-ordinator  if you need advice or tips.

You may also be contacted following the site inspection, if any infrastructure problems have been found, such as risk to water pipes; Health & Safety issues, including trip hazards on paths between plots; or anything which may affect the viability of our site.  If you are already aware of any issues on or near your plot, please let us know. 

Future visions

At the last Committee meeting, it was suggested that plot holders should inform the Committee of their visions for the future of the site.  

It would be greatly appreciated if you could let us know how you would like the site to be in the future, either by email or in the Comments Book in the Trading Hut.  

Suggestions so far include : a disabled toilet; a community plot; nature conservation on Field 4 (the wild area, at the far end of the site, that was formerly allotments.  We have retained under self management, with the option to develop it); selling gluts and excess produce to the local community; selling teas, soups and snacks from the Trading Hut.

Interesting experiment to reduce tomato blight

Please read the link below (sent by Angela) for information about reducing tomato blight with aspirin or willow (the active ingredient in aspirin).

If you experiment with this yourself, it would be good to know the results at the end of the season.




Wildlife

Probably the most exciting bird sighting in May was a pair of egrets, seen flying above the brook one evening.  Egrets are white herons, which are rare in coastal areas, and even more unusual in our area. 

There have been many sightings of Munkjak deer, foxes (and cubs), pipistrelle bats and frog spawn/ tadpoles.  Please let us know if you see anything interesting or unusual, and we would love to see your photos.


Shop

The shop is open in the Trading Hut on Sundays from 10am – 12pm.  


Bonfires: Are NOT allowed at any time during June.  If you have any non-compostable rubbish, you must either store it on your plot until later in the year, or remove it yourself.




Whetstone Stray Allotments April 2014 Newsletter

Hello everyone,
Plant Sale
When you are sowing seeds, it would be great, if you sow extra pots of everything, so that we've got lots of lovely plants to sell at the Annual Plant Sale on June 15th, and don't forget that we now have extremely good value seeds available in the Shop.
Path Representatives
Most of the paths on site now have Path Representatives to ensure that each communal path is safe, cared for, and is improved where necessary. Paths are the responsibility of everyone who uses them. To ensure that this goes smoothly, there should be at least two Path Representatives for each communal path on site.  
There is still no path Rep for the second and third paths on Field 2.  Please get in touch.  To find out more about what is involved with being a Path Representative, please contact Brigid on the Allotment phone: 0754 6279631
There will be an Annual Award for best maintained path.
Water
The water will be turned back on this week, and any necessary repairs carried out.  Michael, the plumber, knows our site very well, as his father put in the water system, and he has maintained it for many years.  Now that we are Self Managing, he is employed directly by us, not by the Council, so the full expense of our water system is carried by all of us.  
Michael has told us that the pipes run in a straight line, from the roadway down to the taps.  The boundary line for all plots should be behind the water stands/ taps so that there is no risk of damaging the water system by digging.  
If you see any dripping taps or broken pipes, please contact either your Path Rep, or a Committee Member immediately, so that the problem can be repaired as soon as possible, to avoid wasting money.  
When watering, never leave the hose unattended, and make sure that everyone gets a turn at the tap.

Volunteering
We had a very successful Work Party in March, in which we secured a vulnerable area of Field 3.  Twelve people turned out on a very cold day - there was hail stones at one point - but despite the weather it was a fun and useful morning- pruning the hedge back, cutting down and using dead material and creating a barrier which will improve the area.  Please see pictures below. Gia said 'It was great to socialise and get to know one another and afterwards chill out together with a pint and a fab choice of Italian food'.
Now we are in the growing season, we will not be organising regular monthly Work Parties again, until the Autumn. However, if anyone identifies work which we need to do before then, please get in touch with Les, and don't forget we all have an obligation to keep all the paths around our own plots safe and clear, and to keep the communal areas free of rubbish, pleasant and tidy.
Les Moore, Volunteer Co-ordinator : 07957 388033 / lesmooregardens@yahoo.co.uk

Wildlife
Recent wildlife sightings of interest include a lot of very long slow worms, spotted on a old compost heap, male and female smooth newts (the males are spotted), and muntjack and - possibly - roe deer.    
Have you seen any interesting or unusual wildlife on or around the site? We would love to hear from you, and will add any photos and stories about sightings to the website in future.

Rubbish Removal
SPRING RUBBISH COLLECTION – SUN 27 APRIL  There will be a rubbish collection on Sunday, 27th April.  Please follow the usual procedure: take your rubbish to the top of each path on 27th April, where it can be easily collected by the truck as it goes along the main drive. Plot holders at the far end of Field 3, must take their rubbish up to the parking area on the main drive, as the truck cannot get down to the end.

Plot holders are reminded that no compostable or burnable materials are permitted. Please try to separate metals and other materials if possible.

Have a look around - is there any rubbish in communal areas you can take to the collection points?  

Do not take rubbish to the car parks at any time, except on rubbish collection day, keep it on your plot or take it away yourself.


Bonfires:
Are allowed at any time until the end of April. Beneficial animals such hedgehogs, grass snakes and slow worms, hibernate in piles of old wood etc, so make sure no one is inside before you light – also check that your neighbours are happy for you to have a bonfire – if not, leave it for another day.

Shop
The shop in the Trading Hut is open every Sunday til the end of October, from 10am – 12pm. 
Popular items in stock include: seeds, composts, and fertilisers.
Pop in to chat to plot holders and Committee members.

Jacquie's tip for April
·         Potatoes - although it may be best to wait until mid April.  If they are planted sooner then make sure that the shoots are protected against frost.

·         Plant Onion and shallot sets

·         Sow lettuce, parsnip,turnip, beetroot, peas and beans - outdoors

·         Sow brassicas, celery and celeriac  - indoors


Try not to be in too much of a hurry to plant and sow seeds if the conditions are not right - nature always has her way of catching up!