Category Archives: Uncategorized

Volunteer work party starts clearance of rubbish from future community orchard


On Saturday 14th March, eight volunteers set about the job of clearing rubbish from the plot, near the Wyeths Road gate, which is to be come a community orchard for the allotment site.

The plot has a large number of fruit trees, mainly apple trees – many of which produce excellent fruit.  The site has been neglected over the years, and a considerable amount of rubbish has accumulated.

Sean Harvey, from Epsom Council, has started work in trying to clear the rubbish, in order to get the plot back into a state in which is possible to assess, and look after, the fruit trees.

IMG_20150314_The_rubbish_at_the_start[1] The waste pile, with rubbish removed by Sean, at the start of the work party on Saturday 14th March.

The volunteers managed, over just two hours, to remove a remarkable amount of stuff.  This included:  three kitchen sinks; two large television sets; some 30 wooden pallets; some 8 large metal window frames; huge amounts of broken down carpet; plastic of all sorts in large quantities; two office chairs;  and so on.

IMG_20150314_The_work_party[1]The work party with some of the rubbish they had gathered


IMG_20150314_The_rubbish_end_on[1] Two photos to show just how much waste the volunteers managed to clear from the orchard, in just two hours

Further clearance will continue, and we hope that the orchard will be a real asset to the allotment site, in due course.

The next work party is planned for the afternoon of Sunday 29th March, from 3 – 5pm.  

Tea and cake will again be provided for the volunteers.  

Do come in sturdy shoes, and bring tough gardening gloves.

18 tonnes of good quality horse manure arrived at the site – not a trace left within an hour and a half!

John Pearce kindly arranged a dump of horse manure for the allotment site, on Saturday 22nd September.  Normally deliveries have only been on week days in the past, but John was able to persuade the driver to do a Saturday morning – so plot holders who work could also get some.

The 18 tonnes were dropped at about 9,30am.  The allotment site has never looked busier, with dozens of plotholders scurrying about in the frenetic quest to get as many barrow loads as possible, as fast as possible.

Manure arrives just after 9.30am

Within an hour, about two thirds had gone.

About two third gone within an hour

Within an hour an a half, there was nothing left.

After an hour and a half, nothing left. John Pearce surveys the scene

And within about 20 minutes of that, a casual passer-by would scarcely have been aware that a steaming pile of horse dung had been there at all.

Thanks very much to John for organising it, as ever.  Much appreciated by a great many plot holders.  And thanks to everyone who made contributions to pay for it – John was able to cover his costs.

Looking forward to the splendid crops that we will grow next year, thanks to all that manure.








Growing veggies in a drought and hose pipe ban

The hose pipe ban started in the Epsom area on 5th April.  No hose pipes can be used at all on the allotment sites, except to transfer water from the taps  to the water butts beside them.  Watering can only be done by watering can.  Hose pipes may NOT be used to fill our own water butts.  The hose pipe ban will last all summer.  There are various articles giving advice on using less water.
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Meeting of the Epsom and Ewell Allotment Forum on 25th October

The most recent of the borough Allotment Forum took place on 25th October.

The meeting notes are at  Forum Meeting Minutes 25.10.2011

The next meeting is on Tuesday 20th March.  The agenda is at Allotment Forum Agenda for 20.3.2012

AAG meeting on Wednesday 30th November

A meeting of the Alexandra Allotments Group was held on Wednesday 30th November.  The meeting notes are at Minutes  of 30.11.2011  AAG meeting

The meeting before was on 14th July:  Notes_of _AAG_meeting_14.7.2011

DISCOUNT SEED SCHEME 2011/12 (with Marshalls)


The AAG Committee has decided not to offer/organise a Discount Seed Scheme for 2011/12.

However Iris Rooney has kindly offered to organise a scheme for any plot-holders who would like to take part. This is the Marshalls Seeds Garden Club scheme, which was successfully run last year. Marshalls are an established, award winning company and have been given “Best Buy” status by Garden Which.  Feedback from plot holders last year was very positive.
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AAG news and updates September 2011

1.  Next AAG meeting:    Due to confusion, the AAG meeting due on 15th September was not quorate.   The next Alexandra Allotment Group meeting will be in November Continue reading

Monbiot article about Aminopyralid poisoning from manure

I found this article be George Monbiot interesting.  I had heard of the problem of manure being contaminated by herbicide, badly affecting vegetable plants, a few years ago, but not recently.  Wonder if anyone else has encountered it, or has views on it?
“Has-Beans” The government and the industry promised that they had dealt with aminopyralid poisoning. They haven’t. Continue reading


The Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 16th April 2011.

  • The new Chairman is Carolyn Page.
  • The new Treasurer is Kate Cross.
  • The Secretary remains Sarah Clayton

Meeting notes have been circulated to members and can be read by clicking here

The new Management Committee looks forward to working with all plot holders, and giving them any assistance we can, during the coming year.

Chairman’s Report for 2010-11



I am pleased to present this report of the activities of the AAG for the period April 2010 to March 2011. This has been a very successful and effective year for the AAG.

We have 115 plot-holders on our direct contact list, covering about 190 plots and have used poster campaigns to reach everyone on the site about key issues and events. In addition new tenancy agreements now include AAG contact details. All plot-holders are entitled to attend and make an active contribution to Management Committee meetings. We have held regular meetings, attended by a total of 20 plot-holders and we thank them all for their contributions. We have issued a number of Newsletters to keep plot-holders informed of issues and events and we have had up to 200 hits per month on our website, which has been kept regularly updated and now includes a message board.

The AAG has effectively represented plot-holders on the Epsom & Ewell Allotment Forum and the AAG Chairman has acted as Secretary to the Forum.

The AAG established relations with the local police and arranged for the allotment to be included in their regular patrol of the area, as well as in night inspections. We now receive regular updates from Surrey Police on local issues.

In July 2010 the AAG agreed to rent the vineyard plots on site in order to preserve and maintain the vines for the benefit of all plot-holders. We successfully won sponsorship from Denbies Wine Estate for the project. As well as covering the cost of the rent for the first three years, Denbies are providing practical on-site training and advice.

Ten plot-holders agreed to manage the nineteen rows of vines and have given extremely generously of their time and resources to replace the framework and care for the vines. For the first harvest the vine managers decided to join the Urban Wine Company (UWC), which acts as a winemaking collective for local growers in London and the South East. The first batch of allotment wine was delivered at the end of March 2011.

In November 2010 the Council attempted to block access through the top gate in Bridle Road. After seeking the views of plot-holders the AAG successfully campaigned against this action.

We launched a new discount seed scheme with Marshalls Seeds, with a 35% discount on seeds, as well as reductions on a wide range of other products.

Over the winter Diggers’ Den was revamped and is now available as a pleasant communal area for use by all plot-holders, as well as for AAG events. The shed donated by Wilkinson’s was erected and painted and contains a range of information and advice for plot-holders.

We have held a number of successful events, including a summer BBQ and a Harvest Supper & Quiz.

The AAG successfully publicised the site and allotment issues via the media, in order to ensure continued support for and understanding of the allotment from local residents and Councillors. These included an interview on BBC Radio, an article in the Epsom Guardian newspaper and a piece in the Epsom Matters magazine.

We have campaigned for a reduced rent for vulnerable tenants including senior citizens and those on low-incomes. The Council has now agreed to consider the practicalities and implications of concessionary rates in time for the review of rents and fees for next financial year.

Finally we would like to express our sincere gratitude once again to John Pearce for kindly arranging deliveries of manure. We would also like to thank Kimberley Gimines for supporting the bee hives on site.

Further to the issues raised at the last AGM the following actions were taken:

  1. Charging for permission to raise structures. The AAG has successfully negotiated with the Council to have this charge removed.
  2. Non-cultivation surveys. The AAG successfully negotiated on behalf of a number of plot-holders who had received unjustified warnings or notices to quit.
  3. Management of the Waste Bays. At the urging of the AAG all the waste bays on site were fully emptied by the Council for the first time in some years. Further awareness-raising about the proper use of waste bays needs to be carried out, as some plot-holders persist in dumping carpet, plastic and other rubbish in them.
  4. State of the onsite toilet. The AAG thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the toilet and has continued to maintain it, providing toilet tissue, cleaning products and water containers. We would ask that users please have consideration for others by leaving it clean and tidy.