Garthdee Allotments

Grow Greener with Garthdee Field Allotments Association

On the move … again!

The Volunteer Squad were called to action today to help Raymond move to his new plot. Raymond started with the Safety Briefing and Risk Assessment: Basically: don’t drop the blooming shed!

Now boys – I want you to take care
Off to a slightly shaky start: She’s listing a bit to port
Full steam ahead: Getting into our stride
Safely in her new berth: Mission accomplished

Eye Eye, who’s this?

Thanks to Paul (Plot 34) and Phil (Plot 35) for passing on these photos.

Photo Credit: Paul Plot 34

The story appears to be that the Sparrow-hawk was taking stock of its new surroundings after snacking on an unsuspecting Blackbird. Phil reports he was a very messy eater and not too bothered to tidy up afterwards either.

In full flight!

Photo Credit: Phil (Plot 57)

Thanks go to Phil (Plot 57) for making the photo available – and congratulations too for his quick reactions!

Community Sunday Returns

It was a great pleasure to see so many plotters, volunteers and friends turn out for our first Community Sunday in such a long time. Thanks go to all who found the time to come along and help out on the day. We counted well north of twenty helpers.

Of course, it was not all coffee and cake and much work was completed around the site before the serious business of catching up with old and new friends began. I don’t think our site has ever looked better.

Thanks too go to Ron for his efforts selling our new range of planters, built by our volunteers. Sales and orders on the day netted over £50 for Association funds. A great effort all round. Further details of the planters available can be found in our new Online Catalogue. We are still accepting orders and some items are still in stock.

All in all we had a wonderful day and warm thanks go to everyone who helped get the new season of Community Sundays off to such a great start.

South Bank Splendour

We got a wee reminder this week of just how splendid the South Bank looks at its best whatever the season.

West end – Foxgloves, Waldsteinia Ternata, Primula and Vinca Major

From its early beginnings remembering especially the work put in by Michael (Plot 88) to get it established, it was super to see our current Volunteers working so hard to get it into shape for the summer ahead.

Steve (Plot 72)
Volunteers Karolina and Veronica

Apologies to all those who helped and who’s photos I missed.

Encouraging Biodiversity

GFAA recently submitted a proposal to Aberdeen City Council for a project to enhance the biodiversity of our site. I am delighted to say that ACC have enthusiastically encouraged us to go ahead. Read on for more details.

Background
We propose to develop the under-used area positioned in the North-West corner of our site to create a wildlife-friendly habitat which will enhance the biodiversity of the local area. The area chosen was created when the contractors constructing the Pitfoddel’s Station Road pedestrian track and cycleway deposited waste materials (mainly rock and sub-soil) in the corner of our site. The resulting raised area (which we have named, “The Mound” is unsuitable for vegetable cultivation and has remained unused for many years.

Features
The development will include some of the features listed below, the exact number will be dependent on the availability of space and suitable locations. (Where features cannot be incorporated into The Mound suitable alternative locations on the Garthdee Field site will be sought.
• Native flowers and shrubs
• Log piles
• Bug hotels
• A wildlife pond
• A wildflower area
• Nest boxes
• Bat boxes
• Hedgehog huts
• Squirrel feeders
• Bumble bee nest boxes.

Benefits
Projects to encourage biodiversity were recommended in our recent Green Flag Assessment and this development will strengthen future Green Flag applications.
The creation of a larger habitat will enable greater variety of species to utilise the area than would be possible in the fragmented small-scale areas developed by individual plot holders.
The habitat created will provide a valuable learning setting for visiting primary pupils and youth groups.
The intended features will be attractive and beneficial to pollinators, birds, amphibians, hedgehogs, insects, bats and many other species.
Development and maintenance of the mound will deliver engagement opportunities working with nature over a wide range of skill sets for members of site’s volunteer group.
Creation of The Mound and its subsequent population by wildlife may act as a stimulus to other plotters to develop areas within their own plots thereby increasing the overall habitat availability on the site.

Management
The Mound Project will be led by Steve Jennings, the GFAA Committee Member charged with responsibility to lead and coordinate our efforts to enhance the biodiversity of our site. In the first instance we will fund work from our GFAA income and reserves, but we may seek external funding in the future.

Maintenance
The area will be maintained by our resident Volunteer Squad and/or interested plotters as coordinated by Steve Jennings.

Health and Safety
The area is already fenced on 3 sides and a new fence and gate will be constructed to manage public access. Visits by external groups will be supervised by a member of the GFAA Committee.
All works will be completed in accordance with Aberdeen City Council’s policies and procedures and in alignment with GFAA’s Volunteers’ Health and Safety Policy.

Visits by external groups will be risk assessed and monitored.

Further Information

Steve Jennings will be delighted to receive ideas for development or offers of help, or to provide further information on the project as it progresses.

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