Advice to Members (GFAA)

GARTHDEE FIELD ALLOTMENTS ASSOCIATION

Advice to Members
These pointers are taken from the annual letter (November 2016 Edition) which Aberdeen City Council distributes to all our allotment holders following our AGM and GM and the Council’s Allotment Guidance Notes. All allotment holders at Garthdee Field are members of Garthdee Field Allotments Association.

Site Access
There are two entrances to the site, the main vehicle entrance off Garthdee Road and a pedestrian entrance beside Pitfodels Road. The other vehicle access is adjacent to Pitfodels Road. The vehicle accesses have either a chain or low level barrier across the opening secured with a combination padlock. There is also an overhead barrier with a combination lock code. Please note that all combination locks on site have the same code. If you think you are last to leave the site any day please ensure that the chain and overhead barrier are locked.

Toilet Facilities
We have a dry compost toilet which is situated beside the steel containers at the orchard. A wheelchair accessible toilet has recently been installed and will be brought into use early in 2017.

There are water taps at several places on site adjacent to the access tracks. Please be sure to turn off the tap when you’re finished. If a tap is faulty please advise a committee member. We usually turn off the water supply when the frosts set in and restore supply as soon as the frosts are past.

At the top and bottom of the site are large storage bins for leaves and wood-chips. Please help yourself. We try to keep supplies available throughout the year.
About once or twice a year we obtain a consignment of road metal to fill up any pot-holes on the site. When you see that the material is available please use it to fill in any pot-holes near you. We try to split the delivered load between the top and bottom of the site.

There is a “bothy“ beside the containers nearest the site entrance which is always open and can be used as shelter in bad weather. (The noticeboard is attached to the gable-end of the bothy).

One of the steel containers near Plot 2E has been marked with GFAA on the door. The container is fitted with a combination padlock with the same code as all other site padlocks.  A few spare gardening tools are kept inside for anyone to use. Please clean and return them when you’re finished.

Potting tables are available in Plot 20 (RGU Student Union) polytunnel for those without a greenhouse. Please leave the tables clear after use, as these are required for RGU and Primary School visits.

Community Garden
The Association and our partners RGU Faculty of Health and Social Care and ACC are in the process of developing the community garden at the bottom of the site. The garden incorporates the orchard, a primary school plot and various raised beds. Please make use of fruit from the orchard in season. The primary school plot is used by Kaimhill primary school and the raised beds are for use by RGU.

Parking on Site
There are three main parking areas on site – an area on the right as you enter through the main entrance, an area at the top of the site beside the containers and an area next to Pitfodels Road beside that entrance. As a matter of courtesy and consideration for other plot-holders, PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON OR OBSTRUCT THE ACCESS ROADS.

Allotment Waste
All waste from an allotment must be dealt with by each allotment holder within their own allotment. Compost bins are ideal for this and a walk around the site will give some idea of the various styles of compost bins being used. If you don’t have a compost bin then the next best thing is to make a heap of the compost material in a corner of your allotment. An old carpet to cover the heap will help the composting process and stop more weeds growing on top.

Some material is difficult to compost such as Brussels sprout and sweetcorn stalks which are a bit woody. The Brussels sprout stalks can be bashed with a hammer to break them down prior to composting and the sweetcorn stalks can be dried and burnt. Alternatively you can put them in a plastic sack and dispose of them at home in the appropriate domestic wheelie bin or at a Council recycling facility.

If there is anything you don’t want to compost such as old potatoes, brassica with club-root and onion with allium rot, couch grass and pernicious weeds like ground elder, then you should take it home and dispose of it in the appropriate wheelie bin or at a Council recycling facility. Some material such as prunings and rasp canes can be burnt.

Over time each allotment does accumulate some general waste such as corrugated iron, stones, glass and plastic. Again, this should be removed from your allotment and disposed of at a Council recycling facility.
If you want to discuss the arrangements for dealing with allotment waste or if you don’t have transport to remove material from the site please contact any Committee member who will do their best to help.  WHATEVER YOU DO, PLEASE DON’T REMOVE MATERIAL FROM YOUR PLOT AND DUMP IT ELSEWHERE ON THE SITE

Bonfires
Please be careful when burning plot waste. Due consideration must be given to the impact of smoke drifting towards any houses adjacent to the site. Burning green waste creates a lot of smoke and should be avoided. The City Council advise that the Fire Brigade be informed if a bonfire is planned. Common-sense has to be applied.
We usually have an annual communal bonfire at the beginning of spring with the material being collected at the top of the site during the winter. Please note that only material suitable for burning should be collected eg fruit tree and bush prunings and wood — no plastics or brussel sprout stalks.

Micro-plots
The working area of a micro-plot is small and plot-holders are asked to avoid creating semi permanent paths with bark or other materials. Micro-plots are intended for short term tenancy and it is important that the whole area is maintained with a ready potential for growing when the plot tenancy changes.

Trees
The growing of ornamental trees on an allotment is not permitted. However fruit trees grown on dwarfing rootstock is acceptable. There are trees on some allotments which have self-seeded and been allowed to grow. They are very intrusive, the roots dry out the soil and very likely encroach on neighbouring plots. Any opportunity should be taken to remove such trees.

Greenhouses and Poly-tunnels
The Council advise that the area occupied on an allotment by either a greenhouse or a poly-tunnel should not exceed 2.4m x 1.8m. Permission to exceed these dimensions has to be obtained in writing from the Council.

Marking of Plots
Please ensure that your allotment is conspicuously marked with the plot number.
This facilitates the periodic inspection of plots by both the Council and the Association and avoids confusion for deliveries of manure etc.

Garthdee Field Allotments Association Nov 2016