This year the AGM will be held in the Guilhall on wednesday 9th November, at 7pm.
The hall has been arranged by Clair Belsom, Chair of FTC Allotment Management Group, and will be rent free. We look forward to a well attended and productive meeting in this historic venue.
The Annual Report and Agenda will be published nearer the date of the meeting.
The next work party will be on Sunday September 18th from 10am to 12.30pm
This will concentrate on completing the clear up of the orchard area ready for the October bonfire.
Work parties are great fun and improve the site for a few hours work. Please join us if you can. If you are interested let Paul Edmondson know so he can email more details near the time, but feel free to turn up on the day with shears, saws, rakes and barrows.
Rent notices have been prepared and distributed by hand to ensure they are received.
As noted in the last update, rents will be due on 9th October, based on £3.50 per rod, as agreed with FTC. A copy of the current Tenancy Agreement will included with the notice this year.
You will be asked to complete the tear off form and enclose this with your payment, plus an SAE if a receipt is required.
The Apple Day and picnic will be held on Sunday 9th October. At present, it is planned that two table presses will be available plus a scratter to mince the sliced apples ready for pressing. As this is a new venture, we have no idea how many people will participate, so if you are thinking of juicing this year, please let Paul Edmondson know, so we have an idea of numbers.
There will be a fully detailed poster nearer the time, but you will be expected to collect and wash the apples, then bring them together with containers for the juice. The fruit will be cut up on tables, passed through the scratter, then pressed.
Meanwhile, a picnic and social for the spectators.
On hearing of plans for a trial system, Cllr Ben Martin offered a water pump and hoses to compliment the storage tank previously donated. This was handed over to Peter Hill and Trevor Foster, who are setting up the trial.
Ben has since arranged for Parker Building Supplis to donate constuction masterials.
The members of the group, Claire Belsom (Chair), Ted Wilcox, Ben Martin, and Peter Flower, spent over two hours touring the site on Saturday 20th August. They showed great interest in the site, the improvements that have been made, those that are in process and proposed for the future. They now have some familiarity with the site, and an in depth understanding of the challenges associated with maintaining our unique environment.
We have been promised support and assistance. Help has been given with the planning permissions for the new fences and tree management, including providing the planning fees.
Another successful morning thanks to the efforts of the volunteers.
Sally Kerin took charge of the orchard area, assisted by Bob Gomes, brush cutter, Marion Ripley, Angela Smith and Andy freeman. Another large area has been cleared and piled ready for the bonfire in October.
Noel Perkins manned the punt by the long bridge to access the tree that had fallen in the water. This was cut up and brought to the bank for disposal by Kieran Kerin and Anthony Hall.
.See the useful links tab/page for links to other websites that contain a lot of information of relevance to the allotments. The National Allotment Society and Hotwell & District Allotments Association Ltd sites are packed full of advice and information. Wildlife on allotments is a Natural England site that provides general information and lots of information on the wildlife that can be found on allotments. The National Allotment Society magazine is a good read and has useful tips and advice for plot holders.
As the spring progresses we can look forward to seeing more insects on the wing on warm sunny days, though we are a tad short of these at present! This article describes some of the first bees to appear in spring. The next will feature spring butterflies.
In mild winters the first bumblebees may be seen as early as late February but in most years the majority of queens that have hibernated during the winter emerges in March and April. The Buff-tailed Bumblebee (above) and the Large Red-tailed Bumblebee are two species that are the earliest to emerge and both may be seen on the allotments now. The Buff-tailed Bumblebee has dull yellow bands across the middle of the body (on the front of the thorax and abdomen) and a buff tip to the tail. The Large Red-tailed Bumblebee queen has a black body apart from the last few segments of the body that are red, hence the name. Continue reading Some Early Spring Bees