BHAF Allotment Forum
Patcham : 13th Jan 2016

Dear Allotmenteer,
You are invited to our Allotment Forum Meeting;
Wednesday 13th January 2015 
6.30pm 'Surgery'
7.00pm Meeting Start
at Patcham Community Centre, Ladies Mile Road, BN1 8TA
All allotment holders and co workers are invited to attend.
Site Reps are expected to attend as part of their role.

Apple Tree Pruning Workshops
The Apple Tree Pruning workshops offered for free by BHAF in partnership with the Brighton Permaculture Trust's Peter May have been a great success.
So far we have organised workshops at;
Plot 22 Weald Allotments
Roedale Valley
Keston Allotments Patcham
Tenantry Down Allotments
WhiteHawk Hill
Camp Site Allotments
Weald Allotments

"The workshop was really brilliant!

There were 9 of us, and it was a very cold but sunny day. Peter was a relaxed and very engaging leader, who taught us loads with a very hands on approach - those of us who wanted to were able to practice using the pruning saw, learning the correct angle of the cut, after observing Peter carry it out himself . We also learned about dead, diseased and damaged wood, and learned how to assess the quality of our trees, one, for instance on our plot, was seen as not worth preserving. We learned how to stand back and assess the tree’s needs, and to keep an open centre.." read more

Some News from the National Allotments Society
A message from Allan Brown, our Chairman.

Dear Plot Holders,

I've attached a pdf of the three articles from the National Allotment Society magazine that I thought were of particular interest and relevance to us all.

I think it's encouraging that the NSALG chairman's lead article focuses on plot size and reiterates that our campaign for a change to the 'half plots only' policy of BHCC during the Strategy is being echoed on a wider stage. Indeed the brilliant and successful SAGS (Scottish Allotment & Garden Society) campaign to get a 'traditional allotment size of 10 rods or 256m2 officially recognised in the CEB (Community Empowerment Bill), which we've featured on our facebook page, reiterates the importance of not letting this important right get eroded.

A traditional allotment size of 10 rods or 256m2 is the recommended size for a family of four to be sufficient in fruit and vegetables.

I wrote to the chair of SAGS during their campaign and was able to share our experiences in getting our council to reverse their former position on plot size, despite being told at the outset that this would never happen! It was great to be able to send SAGS a link to our Strategy and indeed send them details about the work that we undertook on the unforeseen consequences of unilaterally enforcing smaller plot sizes.

It was also encouraging to read the article entitled 'How Does Your Garden Grow' - looking at the various gardening methods/ styles that people utilise on their plots ie. Organic/ Permaculture/ Bio-dynamic/ Traditional etc. Again we seem to have pre-empted this by discussing this very subject at one of our Forum Meetings recently and I think there is definitely more to be done on this front - in educating our members/ site reps and the Allotment Office to these different styles and to have this reflected in our inspection processes. An untidy plot isn't necessarily an under cultivated plot, even allowing weeds to colonise a bed as part of a rotation/ fallow system does not constitute  neglect

Finally the article on 'Growing Health' is particularly relevant. I will write and introduce the BHAF to the Growing Health group. Given the importance of allotments and mental health I think we should strive to increase awareness as to the potential for allotments to be a part of every cities wellbeing strategy.

All the best
Allan Brown

Rules Revision
The rules revision process has been going on for the last few months, many thanks to Josephina and Bill for their work pulling it together.

The below document shows the parts of the rules which the revision group thought needed editing. It isnt a big overhaul of the rules more of a tweak!

If you have any comments regarding the suggestions then please get in touch.
Gardening with Hedgehogs in mind
Scandal of our Allotments
KATIE BEAT looks at their history, and at the growing threat to allotments, despite their supposed legal protection. She argues that their wholesale loss has become a national disgrace..
As if we didnt know!
Allotment gardening 'is good for your mental health'
Study finds that just 30 minutes a week can improve mood and self-esteem as well as physical fitness.
Good for your mental health

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Allotment Forum Details
The meeting is in 2 parts; the first half hour, beginning at 6.30pm, is an informal surgery where people have an opportunity to speak to BHAF members or the Council Allotment Officer on a one-to-one basis over a cup of tea.  This allows individual and personal issues to be dealt with more quickly and efficiently. 
The second part of the meeting begins at 7pm and relates to more general and city-wide allotment issues.  If you have a problem/question or an item for the agenda, come and talk to us during the surgery and we will do our best to help.

There is free parking at Patcham Community Centre and on surrounding streets. 
For those travelling by bus, the 5 and 5A buses stop within 2 minutes walk of the centre (The Ladies Mile bus stop). 
Timetable details can be found here:
The BHAF Committee is always in need of volunteers to help us run the Federation effectively, if you can spare some time to join the Committee, please get in touch!
We look forward to seeing you.
Best Regards,
BHAF Committee.

Brighton and Hove Allotment Federation