Tag Archives: RGU

RGU Communications Design Students

On the afternoon of 3 October GFAA will welcome to our site 40 students from Gray’s School of Art 1st Year Communication Programme.  The students will be asked to investigate and document the location through, illustration, photography, mapping, colour, typography and so on.  Their Tutor, Iain Morrison will be joining the students on their visit.  It is always very interesting to see how visitors view our site from their different perspectives and I am sure all plotters will be pleased to extend a warm welcome to the students.


A very special Community Sunday

Today’s Community Sunday saw our best ever turnout with plotters, volunteers and friends from the Macmillan and RGU plots all well represented.  As a result we got a bucketload of tasks done on the wider site.

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Sincere thanks to everyone who made it along and turned in such a wonderful team effort and to the bakers for the affa fine cakes.  Gold medals all round!

To De Loo…

Our site has a new amenity – a compostable toilet is now in place and fully operational.


The Eco-Loo was obtained with funds kindly made available from the RGU Student Association Garden Project. GFAA contributed necessary sundries and will undertake maintenance and servicing. The Eco-Loo is kept locked: the padlock uses the usual combination used on all other communal locks. Stuart has the details if you need them.



Obviously, the Eco-Loo is a unisex facility. However, old boys will need to learn one or two new tricks to use the toilet successfully. Compostable toilets work on the principle of separating wee and solids: a special bowl-shape takes care of this naturally.  Gents therefore, MUST sit to pee.  Wee needs no further treatment, but solids and loo paper should be covered with a small scoop of the special sawdust provided in the large white bin. Separating liquid and solid waste, and adding sawdust, keeps the facility odour-free. It is important that sawdust is NOT added to the wee.

It is vital that no other rubbish or materials are disposed of in the toilet. Other waste materials, such as nappies, should  be removed from the site by the user, but in emergency situations they may be disposed of in the small silver bin provided.

The Eco-Loo is a non-smoking facility! Naked flames and gasses are a dangerous combination and ignition might bring a whole new application for Michael Caine’s line, “You are only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”

An automatic dispenser provides hand wash and there is a small LED light for use in the winter months or in low light.

Please leave the Eco-Loo as you would have liked to find it.

Members of the Committee have agreed to service the Eco-Loo and after some discussion at the last meeting it was agreed that Stuart would take the first stint on the rota, handing over to someone else in late 2020.  However, in a late breaking bit of news, one plotter has expressed an interest in ‘harvesting’ the wee as a compost-heap activator.  Perhaps we ought to sell off the franchise for GFAA funds?

Read more on compostable toilets on the Eco-Loo Site or via these links:

Farewell Mhairi

MhairiWe learned this week that Mhairi from the RGU Student Plot and Community Garden Project will be leaving soon to take up a new post. While we are delighted Mhairi is moving on in her career, we will all be very sorry to see her go. The energy she brought to the plot and project was exceptional and her contributions to our general meetings were always well-considered and helpful. We will miss her enthusiasm, bright ideas and wide knowledge of community involvement and funding opportunities.I am sure we will all want to wish her happy landings in her new post and every success in her new roles and responsibilities. Hopefully she will manage to pop back from time to time to see how the RGU projects are getting on.

IYN Assessment Report

iynJim Henderson, our It’s Your Neighbourhood Assessor has passed on his assessor report. It makes very good reading. Jim visited our site in early August and was clearly impressed with many of our activities: he awarded us a second to top-level grading and considered us to be ‘thriving’.

DSC_1904It is clear that all our allotment holders have contributed to this success for GFAA as Jim  remarked on the big number of well looked after plots he saw as well as the well maintained communal areas of our site.

Here are some highlights from the report:

We scored 32/40 points for community participation with special mention made of help for novice plotters; our community orchard; support for TAMS; the RGU connection; social and communal activities to maintain the site; and our occasional training courses.  

IMAG0218We scored 25/30 points on evidence of environmental responsibility, getting a special mention for our promotion of composting; waste management; encouragement of educational projects from primary to university level; use of natural materials and approaches to deal with problem areas; encouragement of wildlife with bird feeders and insect boxes around the site.

Gardening achievement scored 25/30 with praise given for the variety of fruit, veg and flowers grown across the site; the sharing of advice and plants; development of wild flower areas; and the use of small plots to help new plotters.

Picture 606Jim indicated he looks forward to seeing more of the exciting new project with Broomhill Primary School and the raised bed plots planned for development with RGU in the Community access area. His score of 82/100 leaves us within striking distance of the ‘outstanding’ level on our very first attempt, so we have a clear target for the coming season.

A big thank you to all who contributed to this success on their own plots and on communal areas and to our principal partners, including the City Council and RGU. It is very pleasing to see our combined efforts recognised within the IYN scheme and we hope this success will encourage even wider participation and more new projects in the coming year.