BHAF Newsletter
April 2014

Dear Allotmenteer,

As many of you are aware, Alan Phillips stood down as Chairman at this year’s AGM. His contribution over the past year has been exceptional, not only to the running of the Federation, but also to the successful adoption of the Allotment Strategy.
We thank Alan for all his hard work and sense of humour and hope he now has a well-earned rest! I would like to introduce myself as the new Chairperson for BHAF. In taking over from Alan, a hard act to follow, I also understand I may be the first female Chairperson in BHAF’s history. No pressure then…
It’s going to be an exciting year ahead of us as we work together to begin implementation of the Strategy. Already some of the changes have come into effect, notably the choice of plot size, and there is much more to come. There will be many opportunities to contribute thoughts and ideas to the process, and we will keep you informed as to how you can get involved. Here’s to an enjoyable, stress-free growing season!

Emily Gardiner (Keston)
BHAF Chairwoman
The 2014 Allotment Strategy
As you are no doubt aware, the Allotment Strategy is now finished and was passed by the Council in March. Here are links to the briefing documents and the full strategy document.
The 2014 AGM
Thanks to all of you who attended our AGM last month. The minutes from the AGM can be found here.
One issue that came up at the AGM was the 'minimum requirements of allotment associations' to be affiliated to the Federation. The minimum requirements can be seen here. The BHAF are keen to encourage Allotment Associations as we believe that they bring many important benefits to sites for plot holders. We have a page on our website with details on how to form and run associations.
However we are also committed to making sure that any Associations that want to be affiliated with us are properly representing their plot holders and run in an open and transparent manner. Allotment Associations can be a real force for good when run openly, but we are also aware of examples around the country where small groups have 'taken over' allotment sites and attempted to run them according to the personal views of a small number of people. It is to that end that we have drawn up our minimum requirements which were endorsed at the AGM.
All plot holders in Brighton and Hove are members of the Allotment Federation, and it is our duty to make sure that they are being properly represented by any group which attends our meetings and claims to be representing them.

   Pak Choi Seedlings Spring 2014
New System for Plot Letting
We have had a number of enquiries regarding how the choice of plot size now works.
There is now a ‘principle of choice’ established by the strategy whereby existing plot holders and those on the waiting list should be able to choose their plot size. Automatic halving of full plots has stopped. It is the role of the site rep to try and offer a choice of plot size wherever it is available.

Full details of the new procedures can be seen in the final strategy document on page 63. Sites will now follow slightly different procedures depending on how many plots are at that site.

Small sites are sites with less than 100 plots.
Large sites are sites with more than 100 plots.

This is a list of the ‘Large Sites’ ;
North Nevil, Eastbrook Farm, Camp Site, Craven Vale, Whitehawk Hill, Lower Roedale, Moulsecoomb Estate, Tenantry Down, Roedale Valley, The Weald.
New Tenants
Small Sites Procedure
Irrespective of size of plot that becomes available, the first person on the list will be offered it. If it is a full plot, and the applicant wants a full plot, it will be let as such. If the applicant wants a half plot, and there are no other half plots available, only then can the plot can be halved.

If the plot that becomes available is a half plot, and the applicant wants a half plot they can take it, but if the applicant wants a full plot they can choose to wait for a full plot to become available. Applicants should talk with the site rep to find out the likelihood of a full plot becoming available.

Large Sites Procedure
When a full plot becomes available (including previously split plots), Site Reps at Large Sites will search down the top 10 applicants to see if there is someone there who wants a full plot. If there is, then they will be let the full plot.

If only half plots are available, the list will be processed in chronological order. If an applicant would prefer a full plot, they can choose to remain at the top of the list until a full plot becomes available.
Current Tenants
Current plot holders are also now allowed to choose to either upsize or downsize. Any current plot holder who wishes to upsize or downsize should contact the allotment officer to register their request.

You can apply to take over the other half of your plot if it becomes available as long as you do not have a history of correctly issued notices in the past 3 years and you have expressed your interest more than a year before. We therefore recommend that if you wish to upsize in the near future that you contact the allotments officer with this request as soon as possible.

If the other half of your plot does not become available, you can choose to leave your half plot and take on a new full plot elsewhere on your site subject to the same criteria as above.

Plot holders can choose to downsize, by either swopping with another tenant on their site, or if there is no other practical solution by relinquishing half their plot. Again, these requests should be made to the allotment officer.

Self Management Myth Busting
First off, we'd like to make it clear that there is no 'privatisation' or 'enforced self management' in the pipeline as a result of the Strategy. There have been a few rumours on local websites to that effect. The strategy does allow for the possibility of trialing different degrees of self management if the plot holders at a particular site decide they want to do this. Roedale Allotments and Gardens Society were asked at their AGM if they would consider trialing some self management and the idea was rejected. 
It should be noted that a degree of self management already exists in Brighton and Hove. Plot letting is now done by volunteer 'Site Reps', in the past this was done by a Council Officer. Some sites (Moulsecoomb Estate / The Weald) have already taken a step further into self management by appointing 'Maintenance reps' as well as Site reps. These reps do work previously done by Council workers and in return get a plot for free.

Our vice chairman Russ Howarth has written up his personal views regarding self management here.
Whitehawk Hill Archeology Project
Are you at Whitehawk Hill, Craven Vale or Racehill Allotment Sites? A rather exciting project is taking place to look at the archaeology of Whitehawk Hill, there may be important finds on your plots!

About Whitehawk Camp 
These allotments are situated in close proximity to Whitehawk Camp, a Neolithic (Stone Age) monument known as a causewayed camp. The Camp is one of the UK's earliest archaeological sites (around 500 years older than Stonehenge). It was excavated by archaeologists in the 1920-30s and they uncovered a large collection of human bone, stone tools, pottery and large numbers of animal bones. The animal bones suggest that communal feasts used to take place on the site. A programme of community archaeology is planned around the theme of 'Food.' We are hoping that finds from the allotment will help us to identify areas of past activity on Whitehawk Hill.   
For futher details on how to take part please see here.
If you are at one of the Whitehawk Hill sites and are willing to help liaise with Dr Hilary Orange who is organising the project then please email us with your details and we will pass them on to her. 

Gladys Goodridge
Gladys is still tending her plot at Roedale Valley at 90!  She celebrated her 90th Birthday on her plot, and the Argus ran a little article.

Mental and Physical Benefits of Allotments
New study presents compelling case for GPs to put food growing ‘on prescription’.
See it here.
Allotments for Beginners
Have you just taken on a new plot and would like some advice? This video made by The Food Partnership and featuring our Vice Chairman Russ Howarth might be very useful to watch. It might also be worth contacting The Food Project at Whitehawk Hill, as they also sometimes run courses and workshops at reasonable prices.
Save Farm Terrace
The campaign to save Farm Terrace Allotments in Watford. Donate
Follow Farm Terrace on Facebook.

Co-worker wanted
A plot holder at Whitehawk Hill is looking for an 'able bodied, child friendly Co Worker'. If that interests you, please email Joanne at
Spade, Fork, Spoon
Recipes for a changed life! This Blog is written by one of our local allotmenteers.
A ladybird which lives for one year can eat more than 5,000 aphids in that time!
Read This.
I Dont Dig Peat
The fight for peat free gardening
The new allotmenteers
The Maintenance Team
The maintenance team have been busy, you can see some summaries of what they have been doing here.
1000 Litre Water Containers
These come up on Ebay for about £25. Perfect for harvesting rainwater from the roof of your shed. Have a look here.
Cow Manure
Delivered by tractor load. Call Perrets Farm on 843235

Horse Manure
Very well rotted horse manure (no shavings in it) 95% pure manure 5% hay.
A few bags or a lorry load to share with other allotmenteers.
On going 7 days a week 9am to need to make appointment.
Pulborough Stud,
Blackgate Lane,
RH20 1DD
Keep up to date with us

Please get in touch with us with any stories from your allotment site! We are always on the lookout for local stories. Also please remember that our website is a community site, which means you can post up your own pages. Its not hard to do and we will always be able to help if you have difficulties.
Best Regards,
Mark Carroll
BHAF Publicity Officer
Brighton and Hove Allotment Federation