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To: - All Allotment Tenants

Steve Clampin 0117 922 3737 0117 922 3854 0117 922 3744 allotments@bristol.gov.uk

May 2013

Dear Tenant, GROWERS GRAPEVINE NEWSLETTER MAY 2013 2013 TENANT SURVEY Please find enclosed the 2013 tenant survey. We would urge you to complete it and return it as there will be a draw to win a ÂŁ20 garden gift voucher. The Freepost address to return it is FREEPOST, PO Box 595, Brunel House, Bristol BS99 2BR. Your views are invaluable in helping us to determine customer satisfaction and in helping us to improve our level of service. It can also be filled in online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/bcc-allotments

RENT DISCOUNT APPLICATIONS Please find enclosed your discount application form. Please ensure that you get this to us by FRIDAY 30TH AUGUST WITH EVIDENCE OF YOUR BENEFITS to qualify for a rent reduction. The form must be sent to: - ALLOTMENTS OFFICE, BRUNEL HOUSE, ST GEORGES ROAD, BRISTOL BS1 5UR. Late forms will be disallowed without exception and the full rent will have to be paid for the plot concerned. Please ensure that you are eligible before sending in your form. Only the benefits shown on the form will be allowed. RENT INCREASES 2014-2015 The rent increase for September 2014 has been agreed by both the Allotments Panel and the Cabinet. It will be an above inflationary increase due to the fact that the City Council subsidy to allotments is coming to an end. This means that the service has to pay for itself.

N e i g h b o u r h o o d s

Environment and Leisure Services Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol, BS1 5UR

Tracey Morgan Service Director

Website www.bristol.gov.uk/parks bristolparks@bristol.gov.uk


The charges will be as follows: September 2013 September 2014 Chalet Gardens £90.00 £100.00 451-550 square metres £137.00 £140.00 352-450 square metres £102.50 £110.00 Large plots 225-351 square metres £68.50 £70.00 Medium plots 151-224 square metres £51.00 £60.00 Small plots 75-150 square metres £34.00 £40.00 Very small plot 0-74 square metres £17.00 £20.00 Invoices will be sent out at the end of September. Please ensure that they are paid within the statutory 40 days to ensure that you do not lose your plot. Please keep any evidence of your payment (eg receipts, online payment number etc) in case of any mix up. DIRECT DEBIT RENT PAYMENTS It is now possible to set up a direct debit system for payment of rent (details on the back of the invoice). We would encourage you to take this up as a way of ensuring that rent is paid on time. If you would like to pay your 2013-14 invoice by direct debit, please contact us before mid-July. However, please ensure that if you pay in instalments that your payments end by August in time for the new invoice year. It is not acceptable for any outstanding rent to carry over from one invoice year to the next and this could cause you to lose your plot. BAN ON BONFIRES AND DISPOSAL OF RUBBISH The ban on bonfires continues between April and October. You must not light any fires during this period. Although bonfires are allowed between November and March, we would still remind you to be considerate to neighbours when lighting fires. If you do see someone lighting a fire during the banned period, please report this to your Site Representative or the Allotments Office and we will investigate (your details will remain confidential). In addition, we would remind you that the disposal of your waste is your responsibility, not that of the Allotments service. We are carrying out inspections on sites to look for fires or evidence of them during the summer ban, as well as piles of material that look like a bonfire waiting to happen. Please note that whilst charcoal barbecues are allowed, a cooking fire made of rubbish/wood is still a bonfire and is not allowed during the banned period. PLOT NUMBERING We would remind all tenants that it is part of your tenancy agreement to number your plot in a prominent place. This not only helps us identify plots when carrying out inspections (and thus prevent notices being sent to the wrong tenant!) but also helps your Site Representative when carrying out their duties. The number need not be highly decorative or expensive, simply a laminated sign or the number painted on a shed, board or watering can will suffice.

N e i g h b o u r h o o d s

Environment and Leisure Services Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol, BS1 5UR

Tracey Morgan Service Director

Website www.bristol.gov.uk/parks bristolparks@bristol.gov.uk


ALLOTMENT COMPETITIONS The standard of entries is always very high, but we would urge tenants to enter your plots, or for Site Representatives and Allotment Associations to enter the best plots on your sites that you consider to be worthy of entry (check with the tenant first!). We have not included an entry form this year but if you would like to enter any of the categories please e mail us on allotments@bristol.gov.uk or telephone us on 0117 9223737 with your details, before Friday 21st June. The categories are as follows:Best Kept Allotment Fred Brown Memorial (Best Allotment for first year tenancy, this can include plots taken on from spring 2012). Any photographic evidence of the condition of your plot when you took it on will be taken into account as the competition is not just about the condition on judging day but about the amount of effort involved in bringing it up to standard). Best Group Project/Community Achievement Award (including community groups and projects helping disadvantaged people). It is not just for a group of tenants sharing a plot. Judging of the Best Kept and Fred Brown Competitions will be held on 3rd and 4th July, we again have Ray Davey of the National Vegetable Society judging with us for these two competitions. I would ask you to ‘come on and have a go,’ after all it’s just a bit of fun, entry is free so you have nothing to lose, and there is a trophy and certificate for the Best Kept and Fred Brown competition first prize winners, along with gift vouchers kindly donated by Riverside Garden Centre. Criteria include quality and variety of produce, general appearance of the plot, and features such as wildlife ponds, compost bins, number boards, scarecrows, flowers and the like. We also award the Philip Hendy Memorial trophy for the Site Representative of the Year. If you would like to nominate your Site Representative for this award, for the work that they do on behalf of the site and its tenants, then please write to us explaining why you consider that they deserve the award. Last year the award was given to Alan Stephens of Rock Allotments, for his hard work as Site Representative over many years. The presentations will be awarded at the Allotments Annual Review meeting at City Hall on 6th November at 6.30pm. HOSEPIPES AND WATER WASTAGE Watering facilities in the form of taps and/or self-filling troughs are provided on most allotment sites to enable plotholders to water crops. Tenants are advised to collect their own rainwater from sheds and other structures using guttering and water butts. Old wheelie bins were supplied to many sites during 2012, to enable tenants to use them for rainwater collection. As well as saving water bills, rainwater is much better for plants than tapwater. In addition, Bristol Water have promised a £200 prize to the site that makes the biggest reduction in water usage over the coming year. There are still some wheelie bins available if you have the means to transport them, please contact allotments@bristol.gov.uk for more details. It is important to remind you that the use of hosepipes to water crops or any other purpose other than filling a water butt on allotments is forbidden. This includes siphoning water N e i g h b o u r h o o d s

Environment and Leisure Services Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol, BS1 5UR

Tracey Morgan Service Director

Website www.bristol.gov.uk/parks bristolparks@bristol.gov.uk


from troughs. Hosepipes may be used to fill up a water butt if a tap is available, but crops must be watered via cans or other suitable containers only. Anyone caught flouting this rule is liable to receive a Notice to Quit. We will be asking Site Representatives to report tenants to us who are seen watering crops with a hosepipe, or leaving hosepipes running unattended. ALLOTMENTS ANNUAL REVIEW MEETING The above meeting has been arranged for Wednesday November 6th at 6.30-8.30pm, at City Hall, College Green. We have not yet arranged a speaker, but will update you on this in the autumn newsletter (it will possibly be someone from Feed Bristol or one of our other fantastic food growing projects). There will also be someone from Safer Bristol coming to talk about site and shed security.

Bristol’s Allotment Orchard Bristol City Council has again teamed up with local tree charity: the Forest of Avon Trust, to supply top quality fruit trees for allotment planting. A great range of English apple varieties on M27 and M9 dwarfing rootstocks can be ordered, suitable for planting on allotments in the City. Also available are pears on Quince C, cherries on Gisela 5 and plums on Pixy. By working direct with the wholesaler, the Forest of Avon Trust can supply potted 1.21.5m bush and cordon apple trees for £26, (Pears £27 and Cherries/ Plums £28), all well below Garden Centre prices. Additionally, the Trust provides a free email advisory service on rootstocks and varieties. Raspberries/ other fruit bushes; fan trained/ other forms of fruit tree; stakes, guards and mats can also be ordered at highly competitive prices. (Prices are based on collection from Ashton Court. Delivery can be arranged at extra cost.) Collection/ delivery will be in November 2013 (or at later dates to suit you). Interested? Please visit http://forestofavontrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/GreatValue-Quality-Fruit-Trees1.pdf and let the Forest of Avon Trust know what you are interested in. They will take it from there. The Forest of Avon Trust is a local charity dedicated to working with people in/around Bristol to get many more trees planted. As well as its Garden Forest and Street Orchard projects, the Trust advises on woodland management, runs schools/ other activities and provides professional Forest School training. For more information visit www.moretreesmoreaction.com or to discuss a project, email jonclark@forestofavontrust.org The Forest off Avon Trust is keen to work with local orchard groups as part of this project and may be able to supply bare-root stock for specific delivery dates. SITE REPRESENTATIVES Please consider whether you may be able to assist us by carrying out this role. This need not necessarily mean that your existing Site Representative is not carrying out their role successfully. However, sometimes a new Site Rep can help bring new ideas and vitality to a site, or on some of the larger sites it may be possible to split the duties between 2 Site N e i g h b o u r h o o d s

Environment and Leisure Services Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol, BS1 5UR

Tracey Morgan Service Director

Website www.bristol.gov.uk/parks bristolparks@bristol.gov.uk


Reps. Rent discounts are available for those who carry out the Site Representative duties. Please let us know if you wish to see the list of duties involved. ALLOTMENTS WEBSITE We are currently in the process of updating the allotments pages on the City Council website. We have included a ‘seasonal tips’ section which we intend to update regularly. If you have any seasonal tips, innovative or unusual crops, gardening methods, pest control methods, recipes etc that you would like to be included please send them in to us. ALLOTMENTS PANEL At a recent Allotments Panel meeting, there was a discussion about the diversity of the Panel, particularly in relation to disability issues. Many issues that are discussed by the Panel can have direct or indirect impacts on disabled people, and it is important that the Panel make up reflects all allotment holders and their needs. On this basis it has been decided to create an additional place on the Panel specifically relating to disability issues, and we are particularly interested in inviting representatives who have knowledge or experience relating to disability. This may be because of your own impairments, or from working with disabled people or having a disabled friend or relative. If you think that you would be able to fulfil this role please contact us. Similarly, if you are interested in being elected to the Panel as one of the Association or non-Association representatives, please contact me for further information as to how to get involved. ALLOTMENTS MARKETS AND BEE AND HONEY FESTIVAL 7/8 SEPTEMBER Mayor George Ferguson is keen to encourage plotholders to have opportunities to sell surplus crops, whether via local shops or markets. Contrary to popular belief, the selling of surplus crops from an allotment (as opposed to using a plot specifically for business use) is legal, and Bristol City Council does allow it. For this reason we are intending to have an Allotment Fair on the weekend of 7th and 8th September at the Bee and Pollination Festival at the University of Bristol Botanic Gardens, The Holmes, Hollybush Lane, Bristol BS9 1JB. This is an opportunity for tenants, sites, community groups or allotments associations to sell surplus produce to raise funds for themselves or for charity, or just to promote your site or community project. It is a lot of fun and provides a good way to meet like-minded people and possibly gain some new plotholders for your site. If you are interested please contact us by the end of August. Places will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so the sooner you get your form to us the more likely you are to get a place! In addition, as part of the Mayor’s Making Sunday Special initiative, it is intended to hold an Allotments Fair as part of the Market in the City Centre on one Sunday each month starting in June. The dates of the markets are as follows: June 23rd, July 21st, August 18th, September 22nd and October 20th. Please contact us for further details. There will also be a big market on Saturday 22nd June as part of Big Green Week. N e i g h b o u r h o o d s

Environment and Leisure Services Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol, BS1 5UR

Tracey Morgan Service Director

Website www.bristol.gov.uk/parks bristolparks@bristol.gov.uk


Ashton Court Farmers market is held every third Sunday of each month March to December 10.30am to 2.30pm, contact Sophie Bowden for further details on sophie@mullioncove.net. For further information on markets in Bristol and a full list of all markets and how to apply for a stall, please visit http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/business-bristol/markets-bristol WATER TROUGHS Allotment water troughs are generally considered safe as they are raised off the ground. Those below paths on slopes are covered to prevent young children from accidentally falling in. Nonetheless, it is recognised that any water can pose a risk especially to young children. All tenants are reminded that if your children accompany you to your plot, you must ensure that they are not allowed to play on or around water tanks for their own safety. In addition, no visitor to your plot should be allowed to trespass onto other people's plots, both for their own safety and for the privacy and security of others. In addition, please do not wash vegetables, tools, chemical containers or anything else in water troughs as it contaminates the water for everyone else, makes the water dirty, and can spread diseases (whether plant, animal or human). If you need to wash items please use a bucket to remove some water from the trough, and then dispose of the used water safely on your own plot. LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE Legionnaires Disease is a severe type of pneumonia that can be contracted from warm, stagnant water, which is often associated with heating and air conditioning systems. It is possible that, during periods of warm weather, water standing in water troughs or pipes could become a vector for the Legionella bacteria, which is contracted by breathing it in from the water vapour when spraying or misting crops. The risk is extremely low, but tenants are advised not to use standing water from tanks for spraying crops in warm weather if there is any risk that the spray/mist could be breathed in. The wearing of disposable face masks is advisable if you do spray during warm weather (this would be advisable in any case if you are using chemicals). If tenants do need to use mains water for this purpose, you are advised to use water direct from the tap and run the tap for a few seconds before drawing any water from the tap into a sprayer or mister, in order to clear any water that has been standing in the pipe. Please note that there is no risk from using water for watering crops or washing. For further information on Legionnaires Disease visit the following website http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/LegionnairesDisease May I take this opportunity to wish you a successful growing season for the rest of 2013. Yours sincerely

Steve Clampin Allotments Manager N e i g h b o u r h o o d s

Environment and Leisure Services Brunel House, St Georges Road, Bristol, BS1 5UR

Tracey Morgan Service Director

Website www.bristol.gov.uk/parks bristolparks@bristol.gov.uk



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