Garthdee Allotments

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Minutes from the General Meeting on August 2013

Minutes of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association(GFAA) General Meeting held in the Robert Gordon University Faculty of Health and Social Care, Garthdee Road at 7-30pm on Wednesday 28thAugust 2013.

Present: Stuart Oram (Chairman), plots 8 and 56, Mike Fairhurst, plot 5, Rupert Hunt, plot 73, Norman and Jacqui Coutts, plot 81, Ruth Evans plot 22, Allan George plot 98A, Rhona Matheson, plot 37.

Apologies: George Tulloch, Carlos Galan, Ian Shand, Ranald Cameron, Gavin and Tricia Bell, Carrie Watt, Gordon MacDonald,Val Milne.

 In the absence of the Secretary, the Chairman took the minutes.

 Association Funds: As at 14/8/2013 cash in bank was £854.

Committee Membership: Ken Locke, one of our Committee members has moved to a new home in Dunfermline. The Chairman took the opportunity to acknowledge and thank Ken for his contribution to GFAA. In particular, it was Ken who started off the initial Advisory Group when the Council announced some years ago that their policy was to shift responsibility to allotment holders and give them an opportunity to direct their own affairs. The Advisory Group subsequently metamorphosed into the GFAA. The meeting expressed their best wishes to Ken in his new home.

Ken’s departure leaves a vacancy on the Committee which we hope to fill as soon as possible. If any allotment holder would like to join the Committee or would like to find out more about what is involved please contact any Committee member.

Mike Fairhurst has taken over from Ian Shand, the role of auditing the allotments in conjunction with the Council.

Allotment Guidance Documents from Aberdeen City Council: There was a generally favourable reaction at the meeting to these documents.

Site Security – Rear Boundary fence and Replacement Padlock: A site meeting had been held with George Davidson from the Council and the Chairman. While  George Davidson did agree that a replacement fence similar to that beside Pitfodel’s Road  was ideally what was needed, the Council have since reported back that the funds for such a fence are not available. An alternative suggestion that had been mooted previously to establish a thorn hedge was not considered necessary by George as there appeared to be an existing barrier of nettles and branches and thorns. The meeting agreed that we should obtain a proper costing to build the ideal fence and have it ready to present to potential funders as the  opportunity arose.

Action: Chairman A replacement combination padlock for the overhead barrier is to be obtained shortly by the Council. The delay has been due to protracted discussion initiated by the Council on alternative padlocks.

Update on Allotment for Disabled People: The Chairman reported that there might be a possibility of some funding for our project from RGU who have recently been awarded a fairly large sum of money for a bigger project they are working on. Discussion on the allocation and distribution of these funds will be taking place shortly.

The meeting agreed that we should also promote aspects of the disabled allotment costs and use networking with local businesses to try to secure funds. For example if local businesses have budgeted funds for community purposes, we might be able to obtain their support for parts of our project eg Supply of sleepers to create the raised beds and so on.

Plot for RGU Students: The Council have agreed to allocate Ken Locke’s former plot (20) to the RGU Students Association following their recent request.

Update on plan for BBQ area in the Orchard: The students at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment did produce various designs for our BBQ area as part of their Degree course. All the designs were shown to the Chairman representing GFAA as the client. The student focus was on the covered area related to barbecues as opposed to the construction of the actual stone BBQ. The Chairman felt that for GFAA to progress this further we would need to adapt the students ideas and if any allotment holder feels they could in any way assist in the design and build of this facility please get in touch with the Chairman or any Committee member.

Management of GFAA Tools and Machinery: Various people have kindly donated gardening tools and machinery to the Association. Mike Fairhurst has made an inventory of all the equipment and identified it as belonging to GFAA. This equipment is stored in one of the metal containers and is for any plot-holder to use. It was agreed  that the best way to give everyone access to the equipment was to put a combination padlock on the container with the same code as the site entrance padlocks. Among the items is a generator, rotovator and a petrol mower all of which need some repair. If anyone feels they could assist in checking and repairing these units please contact the Committee.

Display Board for Scotland In Bloom: The Council asked the Association if they would provide a display board for the recent Scotland in Bloom competition. The purpose of the board was to showcase to the judges, the work of community groups and allotments in helping to keep Scotland beautiful. We duly provided the board and a replica of it is or will be fixed to the plot notice board.

Communal Activities on Site: It was agreed that we should arrange a pruning session for this year.

Action: Secretary

It was agreed that we should have a site bonfire after the pruning session – date to be notified by e-mail.

Action: Secretary

It was suggested that a work w/e should be arranged to tackle bothy clean-out, hedge trimming. tidying of the large storage bins, pothole filling and so on. Date to be set.



BBQ and Raffle: Rupert Hunt and Ruth Evans very kindly offered to organise this event which will be held on Sunday 6th October.   An e-mail will be circulated nearer the time.                      Action: Secretary

Selling Plot Produce: The Chairman read out some of the most recent bulletin from The Allotment Market Stall (TAMS) which had been running for 4 weeks with one week to go. A wide variety of produce was collected from allotments around the city and sold at the Castlegate on Fridays and Saturdays. The final report detailing quantities sold and cash generated is awaited.

AOB: The Chairman referred to an e-mail he received from the Council regarding a free talk about Permaculture run by Aberdeen Forward. The meeting expressed no interest.

There was some discussion regarding the new houses being built adjacent to our site particularly with regard to the plots being overlooked. The meeting felt that the presence of the houses might be a bonus or a blight depending on your point of view. The strip of land between the houses and our site boundary wall is full of rose-bay willow herb and members wanted to know what was the intention for this strip of land. The Chairman agreed to find out from the Site Agent.

Action: Chairman

The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 8-40pm.

GFAA invitation to the General Meeting on 28/08/13

Dear all,

We would like to invite you to the Garthdee Fields Allotments Association General Meeting.

The General Meeting will take place at the RGU Garthdee Campus on Wednesday the 28th of August at 7.30pm.

Agenda and room for the meeting will be circulated next week.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
Best wishes,

The GFAA Committee

Access to the site

The combination for the overhead barrier at the Garthdee Road entrance is broken and we are awaiting a replacement.

For those of you with high sided vehicles, you may consider the Pitfoddels entrance.

Minutes from the General Meeting on April 2013

Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Minutes of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association (GFAA) meeting held within the Robert Gordon University Faculty of Health and Social Care, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen on Tuesday 30 April 2013 at 7pm


Stuart Oram, Chairman, plots 8 and 56, George Tulloch, Secretary, plot 41, Norman Coutts, plot 81, Mike Fairhurst, plot 6, Bruce Taylor, plot 79, Gavin and Tricia Bell, plot 7A, David Buchan, plot 27, Richard Powell, plot 96B, Val Milne, plot 23, Ruth Evans, plot 22, Gill Kitching, plot 4, Rupert Hunt, plot 73, Allan George, plot 98A.


Simon Rayner, Doug Connell, Martin Walsh, Brian Bryce, Carrie Watt.


The Chairman welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.

 Minute of previous meeting:

The Chairman asked everyone if they had a chance to see the minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 14 November 2012, and asked for them to be adopted. The minutes were agreed.

 Proposed Federation for Aberdeen City Allotments:

The Chairman reported that the proposed Federation for Aberdeen is unlikely to happen, as there are approximately 10 sites around the city with the combined feeling that a Federation would just be another layer of bureaucracy, and wouldn’t achieve anything which the status quo couldn’t. There do not appear to be any examples of where such a Federation has been successful.

Plot Fees:

The Chairman reported that the plot fees have gone up by 2.5% this year and went on to highlight the prices for this year.

Association Funds:

The chairman reported that the Association currently has £804 in the account.

Auditing of Plots:

The Chairman informed the meeting that the auditing of the plots by Yvonne Mitchell from Aberdeen City Council (ACC) continues and urged members to speak to the Committee if they are unwell or if there are any issues, which prevent them from working their plot. Ian Shand is collating names of people who would be keen to help out with a plot. The Chairman also stated that he had a list of plotters who are requiring assistance.

Discussion then took place regarding the possibility of requesting assistance from the ACC waiting list to assist.

Task – Chairman to speak to Pat Wilson, ACC, regarding the possibility of using someone from the waiting list to help any plotters requiring assistance.

Allotment Guidance Documents from ACC:

The Chairman reported that operational guidance documents for micro plot holders are to be distributed by ACC.

Site Access/Security:

The Chairman informed the group that he has spoken to Pat Wilson regarding the fencing bordering the railway line, which is in a state of disrepair. George Davidson from ACC will be carrying out a survey. Discussion then took place regarding a recent break in at a plotter’s shed. the Chairman urged anyone experiencing similar criminal activity should report all matters to the Police.

The Chairman stated that the Pitfodels Road access to the site has been available for some time now and seems to be working well.

Disabled Allotments:

The Chairman reported that he has discussed the arrangements regarding the possibility of an area being created for a disabled allotment at the orchard area of the site with Sandy Scott and Pat Wilson, from ACC,  and has shown them Architects drawings of how it may look onsite. They are fully supportive and are happy with the plan to raise the level of the site with topsoil.

Phil Carver has left the RGU, and a meeting was arranged between the Chairman and Liz Hancock from RGU. She is supportive of the disabled allotments and has intimated the possibility of including our project with another grant request she is currently working on.

Barratts have offered 1000 tonnes of topsoil to assist in raising the level of the area.

BBQ Update:

The Chairman reported that RGU 3rd year students are creating plans for a BBQ area at the site as a project.

Communal Activities Onsite:

Bonfire – The chairman announced the intention to have a bonfire to clear the excess wood lying about the site. Date to be confirmed.

Pothole Filling – The Chairman informed the meeting that a load of road planings had been delivered and were situated at the entrance to the site. He asked that everyone use the planings to fill any holes in the roadways outside their plots.

Sowing of Wildflowers – The Chairman mentioned that he thought it would be a good idea to sow wildflowers around the site. He sought advice from Terry Scott, a fellow plotter at the Slopefield site, who advised growing wildflowers as plug plants in a greenhouse.

Pruning Workshops –  The Secretary informed the group that there had been a request to hold another pruning workshop at the site. He made enquiries with Colin Stirling, who held the last workshop, and he recommended the third or fourth week in November or first week in december. The secretary will circulate the membership nearer the time to gauge interest.

BBQ and Raffle – volunteers were requested to organise the BBQ and raffle.

Selling Plot Produce:

Pat Wilson circulated a note from the Community Food Initiative North East (CFINE), who can take any excess produce from allotments, sell it, and give the money back to the plotholders.



Communal Wall – Concerns were raised regarding the poor state of the stone wall boundary with the Barratts site.

Containers – The Chairman reported that, recently, issues had been raised regarding plotholders selling containers. He announced that the containers around the site were a gift and belong to the Garthdee Field allotment Association, not the individual who currently occupies the container.


The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting at 8pm.


Stuart Oram                                                                George Tulloch

Chairman                                                                     Secretary








Minutes of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association Committee Meeting (March 2013)

Minutes of GFAA Committee meeting at 7.00pm on 19 March 2013
at 7 South Crown Street, Aberdeen

Attendance: Stuart Oram, George Tulloch, Ranald Cameron, Rupert hunt, Ken Locke

Apologies: Carlos Galan-Diaz, Mike Hart, Mike Fairhurst

Opening of Meeting: The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present to the first committee meeting of the new season.

Minutes of Previous Meeting: The Chairman informed the group that he had received correspondence from Richard Powell requesting that the minutes be amended to read Susan Powell instead of his name. Amendment to be made and minutes adopted.

Micro Plots: the Chairman reported that the GFAA are still in dispute with Aberdeen City Council regarding the terminology and usage of the micro plots.

Items for next General Meeting: The Chairman informed the group that he had provisionally compiled an Agenda for the next General Meeting and will circulate with the Committees approval. the items to be included are as follows:

Proposed Federation from ACC
Auditing of Plots – next audit to take place on 15/4/13
ACC Document regarding “Managing an Allotment”
Plot Fees
Site Access/Security
Communal Work on Site
Disabled Allotment
BBQ – provisional dates 2/6/13 and 1/9/13

The Committee agreed the proposed Agenda

General Meeting: The date of the next General Meeting was agreed for Tuesday 30 April 2013.

ACC Allotment Guidance Notes: The ACC have compiled guidance notes regarding managing an allotment and are to be circulated.

Funds: Ranald Cameron reported that the GFAA funds currently stand at £803.22


Pruning Class – There was a feeling amongst the committee that last year’s pruning class was very successful and would like this repeated.

Task – The Secretary was tasked with enquiring about pruning class.

Wild Flower Border – The Chairman informed the group that he had been in discussion with Terry Scott from Slopefield regarding a wild flower border around the site and it was felt that   there would be merit in possibly arranging a wild flower class for the association.

Task – Chairman to enquire about the possibility of a workshop for growing wild flowers.

Closure: There were no other items of business and the meeting was closed.

Agenda for the General Meeting

Garthdee Field Allotments Association

Agenda for General Meeting Tuesday 30th April 2013 at 7-00pm to be held at the Robert Gordon University Faculty of Health and Social Care, Garthdee Road,  Aberdeen

1   Welcome and Apologies

2   Minutes of meeting held on Wednesday 14th November 2012

3   Proposed Federation for Aberdeen City Allotments

4   Plot Fees – 2013/2014

5   Association funds

6   Auditing of plots

7   Allotment Guidance Documents from Aberdeen City Council

8   Site access issues/ Site security

9   Update on allotment for disabled people

10   Update on plan for BBQ area in Orchard

11   Communal activities on  Site –  Bonfire

Pothole filling

Sowing wildflowers

Pruning workshop

12  BBQ and Raffle

13  Selling plot produce

14  AOB

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