NB These FAQs should be read strictly in conjunction with the Allotment Tenancy Agreement
Is the allotment site secure?
The arrangements in place vary from site to site. Where the site has an entrance gate you must close it if you are the last car to leave the site.
One site has a combination padlock and the combination for the padlock is given to each Tenant on that site when they sign their Tenancy Agreement. Tenants must not give out this number to anyone other than those people who regularly assist them with their plot. When you enter the site please leave the padlock on the gate and turn the digits on the padlock to a random number. If you are the last person to leave the site please be sure to shut the gate, secure it with padlock and turn the digits on the padlock to a random number.
What happens if I need something delivered to my allotment?
When you arrange a delivery you, or someone nominated by you, must be at the allotment site to meet the delivery driver. You must not give the delivery company the combination of the padlock. Please ensure that the vehicle(s) making the delivery does not damage any area of the allotment site. All damage must be rectified by the tenant who ordered the delivery.
What about car parking?
Tenants are asked to use common sense and not to drive on the dirt tracks should they be obviously wet and the ground soft. You must not park your car on your allotment plot, please use the parking areas provided or off site parking.
What facilities are there at the allotment sites?
Stand pipes (and/or water tanks) are provided at most sites. The water supply to the stand pipes is turned off between November and March to prevent freeze damage and burst pipes.
Can I take as much water from the water tanks as I like?
Allotment Holders are requested to show respect for other tenants when using this resource. Direct watering of plots using a hosepipe connected to the tap is strictly forbidden. Tenants are asked to refill the tanks after use for the convenience of other tenants.
The plot is bigger than I first thought; can I share it with a friend?
You must not sublet, assign, or part with possession of the allotment plot or any part of it, without the written consent of the Council.
It is permitted for you to ask friends or family to help you with your plot as a whole but you must not give them a specific section to cultivate. If, in the event that you give up the tenancy in the future, your friend or family member might wish to have first right of refusal to take it over, you must have obtained Council's agreement to a shared use arrangement (see clause 3 of your Tenancy Agreement).
If you are finding that the plot is too big for you to cultivate alone, contact the Council Offices. It may be possible to split your plot in half, if someone else is waiting and would prefer a smaller plot to cultivate.
Everything is getting a bit overgrown but that's okay, isn't it?
You must keep your allotment plot clean, tidy, free from weeds and in a good state of cultivation and fertility. For environmental reasons foam-backed carpet must not be used for the suppression of weeds on allotments as it is non bio-degradable and chemicals from the foam may leach into the soil. If black plastic is used to suppress weeds then it must be firmly pinned down in the earth to prevent it blowing away and becoming a nuisance.
You should also keep the pathway between the allotment clean and free from weeds.
If you are finding it difficult to cultivate your plot, contact the Council Offices. We may be able to help you move to a smaller plot. If you don't tell us there is a problem and your plot becomes overgrown we will write to you and ask you to clear your plot before it becomes a nuisance to other allotment holders. If your plot remains uncultivated after 28 days, you will be advised in writing that your tenancy agreement will be terminated.
If you are not able, for any reason, to clear or cultivate your plot please contact the Council Offices.
There's a bonfire on the allotment plot next to mine every weekend, and the smoke is a real nuisance. What should I do?
Allotment holders must not cause any nuisance or annoyance, including noise annoyance, to the occupier of any other allotment plot, or obstruct the paths set out by the Council on the allotments. Bonfires are not allowed on your allotment or on any part of the allotment site and any non compostable material must be removed from the allotment site to the household waste/recycling centre.
There is a tree at the edge of my allotment plot and nothing grows underneath it. Can I cut it down?
No, you must not cut or prune any timber or other trees.
If you feel that any trees or shrubs on or close to your allotment plot need pruning or cutting back, you should contact the Council Offices immediately. Do not cut or prune any trees or shrubs yourself. Your request will be considered and you will be advised of the outcome and any action to be taken by telephone or letter.
Similarly, you must not take, sell, or carry away any mineral, gravel, sand or clay on your allotment plot without the written consent of the Council
The hedge near my allotment is very overgrown. Who is supposed to cut it?
It is the responsibility of the Town Council to maintain any hedges or trees outside individual plots. However, you must keep any hedge forming part of your plot properly cut and trimmed. The maximum dimensions for any hedging within your plot is 4'(h) x 2'(w). You must not plant any hedge without written permission from the Town Council. If you are not able, for any reason, to cut or trim your hedge please contact the Council Offices immediately.
Are there any things I shouldn't plant?
You must not plant any trees unless they are dwarf fruiting trees. Additionally, you must not plant or cultivate any crop whose cultivation is against the law. Not more than 50% of the allotment shall be given to the growing of a single crop.
Can I have a shed, a greenhouse or a polytunnel on my plot?
You must not erect any building or structure on your plot without the prior written consent of the Council. There must be no more than 2 permanent structures on any one plot.
Once you have obtained permission to erect a shed you must keep it locked when you are not working on your plot if you store any hazardous chemicals/materials or dangerous tools/implements.
Can I keep livestock?
You may be permitted to keep honey bees, hens and rabbits with written consent of the Council. No other livestock is permitted.
Can I have a pond on my plot?
No, the Town Council does not permit ponds (although tenants with ponds installed prior to 01 April 2006 have been allowed to keep them).
Can I put a fence around my allotment to keep rabbits and other animals out?
You must not erect a fence without written permission from the Town Council and said permission will only be given for a chicken wire and post fence.
Can I put fresh farmyard manure on my plot?
Fresh farmyard manure may be stored on your plot but the heap should not be in a position where it would contaminate a neighbouring plot. N.B. It is not recommended that fresh manure be used directly on crops but that it should be allowed to rot down for at least six months before use.
Someone has dumped rubbish just inside the gate to the allotments, who will clear it away?
Allotment holders must not deposit or allow other persons to deposit or dump any rubbish on the allotment, or place any matter in the hedges, ditches or dykes situated on the allotments or adjoining land.
If you see rubbish dumped at the allotment site, please contact the Council Offices and inform them.
How do I get rid of my rubbish?
You are encouraged to compost all your compostable waste on your plot. Non compostable materials must be removed from the allotment site to the household waste/recycling centre.
NB If you discover any asbestos on your plot e.g. corrugated sheets from an old shed, you must contact the Council Offices and inform them as this must be handled and disposed of separately from other non-compostable wastes in accordance with the relevant legislation.
I have seen a rat on my plot, how do I get rid of it?
Unfortunately, as in any town or countryside situation, rats may be a problem. Compost bins provide nesting places and food sources for rats. Bins must be rat-proofed by placing wire underneath, and preferably extending wire around the sides of the bin. The Council advises that you check compost bins weekly in the winter for signs of rat activity. Check under sheds and pallets for rat nests and avoid giving them places to hide.
Traps and bait should be placed in sheltered places, e.g. in a tunnel made of old bricks, so that other animals cannot get to them. Follow label guidance for poison baits and protect the bait from rain.
Can I take my dog with me to the allotments?
Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times when on the site of the Allotment Gardens, and all dog faeces must be removed from the site.
I've got a problem with pests on my crops, can I use a spray?
When using any sprays or fertilisers, you must:
• Take all reasonable care to ensure that adjoining hedges, trees and crops are not adversely affected, and must make good or replant as necessary should any damage occur; and
• So far as possible select and use chemicals, whether for spraying, seed dressing or for any other purpose whatsoever, that will cause the least harm to members of the public, game birds and other wildlife, other than vermin or pests, and
• Comply at all times with current regulations.
The Council recommends and suggests that organic alternatives should be used in preference to other chemicals.
Are there any legal obligations I should know about?
You must at all times observe and comply fully with all enactments, statutory instruments, local, parochial or other bylaws, orders or regulations affecting the allotment site.
The tenant of an allotment plot must not contravene the Water Resources Act 1991 or any statutory re-enactment of it.
I saw someone walking about the allotments, making notes. Who can come onto the allotment sites?
Officers of the Council may enter and inspect any allotment plot at any time. Only allotment holders (and family or friends who are helping them on their allotment) are allowed on the allotment site. The general public is not permitted to enter the allotment sites.
Can I remove my plot marker post?
You must not remove the marker post which shows your plot number.
Can I use the boundary fences and walls?
You must not attach anything to, or lean anything up against, the boundary fences and walls.
I don't want to continue renting my allotment, what do I do?
If you wish to terminate your tenancy agreement, write to the Council Offices stating plot number and site and confirming that you wish to terminate your agreement. Whilst there is a waiting list for allotments you will be able to give up your tenancy without giving the period of notice stated in the Standard Tenancy Conditions document. In any event you will not be eligible for a refund of monies paid.