“My Lords, the Government recognise the importance of allotment gardening for food provision, recreation and the sustainable regeneration of towns and cities. The Government are aware of the value of allotments to the whole community, as well as to the individuals who use them”.
Baroness Hayman, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, quoted in Hansard, April 11, 1998
I am sorry to hit you with another update, but I am sure that you would all agree that this is not the time for complacency. I cannot stress enough the importance of everyone pulling together and following these emergency measures. Failure to do so may result in all fields being closed, with that in mind we have received updated guidelines from the National Allotment Society and the Landlords have asked that we ensure that you are advised of these measures.
- Following the Prime Minister’s address to the Nation on 23 March 2020, the National Allotment Society is consulting with central government, and at the moment members may still visit their plot, to take daily exercise on their own or with members of their household, (this does not include relatives that do not live in your house). It is vitally important that you follow all the advice about social distancing and hygiene in the points below and not gather together on site.
- Any plot-holder who is self-isolating because a household member is ill with corona-virus should not be visiting the site.
- We will be displaying this update and further updates on the notice boards. It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in the water tanks and please pay attention to notice boards.
- It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to the Secretary or the Field Manager by email or by phone. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women.
- We are living through a crisis, the likes of which none of us has experienced before, not since war time has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times.
All members MUST take the following precautionary measures:
- Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
- Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locks
- DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart CLICK HERE for guidance
- Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres the further away the better
- If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
- Do not share tools
- Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes
- Do not wash your hands in water troughs
- All communal facilities should be closed
- Click here for guidance if you do need to clean an area that has been visited by an infected person.
- The Association Shop – Face to Face contact has been suspended to protect Ferai, his group of volunteers and you the customers from possible infection. Members may still order by phone or email and pay using their banks on-line payment facility, cheques will be accepted but no cash, for full details please CLICK HERE.
- If you have livestock on the site and must visit twice a day, take a photograph on your phone of your livestock, based on what is happening in other countries you may eventually have to print off a government form to leave the house but if challenged it would be good to be able to show a photograph of where you are going.
- Plan ahead to ensure that you have food and medication delivered to you during this time
- Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible
- If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.
- It is important that any plot-holders over 70 years and those with underlying health issues follow the guidance and information issued by the government.
- If you have a problem or need help then please telephone 07804 122826 or email email@example.com. We have had offers from several members regarding offering to help members by delivering shopping and medication. Going forward it is recommended that we set up a “Buddy System” so that members who are willing to help others can offer weeding and watering assistance on the plots of gardeners who cannot get to the plot due to long term self-isolation. If you would like to be a “Buddy” to someone then please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- FYI All National Allotment Society (NAS) meetings and all NADCAA meetings have been cancelled. The NAS will review the situation on the 30th June 2020. This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of members, volunteers, and NAS staff remains the number one priority.
- We must all consider vulnerable families, friends and fellow plot-holders and give assistance where needed.
- Government advice about the Coronavirus is updated on a regular basis at this link.
- For NHS information and advice CLICK HERE
I have been invited to speak to Toby Buckland on Radio Devon between 1.00PM and 2.00PM today. Those that know me well will know that I don’t relish public speaking, and but these are unprecedented times, and needs must.
Once again thank you all for you co-operation, be kind to one another and please stay safe!!
Tim Callard (Chairman)
Discover The World Of Allotment Gardening
We are a community enterprise run by a group of volunteers helping its members and making allotment gardening available to the citizens of Newton Abbot and District.
The Association was founded in the early 20th century. Today we have five fields, namely; Blake’s, Bradley, Coach Road, Cooke’s and Decoy.
Newton Abbot Town Council is our Statutory Authority, and we have a close and happy relationship working with them as our landlord.
The Benefits of Allotments
- Healthier, tastier food
- A satisfying hobby
- Fresh air and exercise
- A return to nature
- Resource conservation
- Friendship opportunities
- Your very own food supply
- Community spirit
- Therapeutic relief of stress and depression
- Fresh food for family, friends and the community
- A chance to keep bees, rabbits and chickens (including rare breeds)
- Room for your own greenhouse and shed
- A place to grow fruit and flowers for the home, as well as vegetables
- An opportunity to enter your produce into yearly competitions.
- A place to create your own haven for wildlife.