Roofs, Raffle and Social Membership
Either you've been away or you really need to visit your plot more often if you've failed to notice that we've lost the Pavilion roof! Or at least a big chunk of it - on Friday night 26th and Saturday morning 27th, during Storm Arwen. Perfectly timed to sabotage what promised to be the best Winter Fayre we've had for a long time, with plenty of stalls, food from Carters and elsewhere, beer flowing like er... beer; and a massive opportunity to raise funds for the Association. Instead we potentially have a big drain on our funds.
Big thanks though to all of those Plot-holders and Social Members who turned up on a very cold Saturday to help with the first fix by stripping off the old roof, rigging up battens and polythene to make the place reasonably waterproof, and then clearing away the debris. It was a phenomenal job done at speed and a real testament to the spirit of community on site.
Big thanks also to our indefatigable Chairperson - Maxine - who was there from the start on D-Day badgering the Council Emergency Services and organising things generally. Then, for spending the whole of the following week doing pretty much the same. It is largely down to her efforts that we now have the Council fully engaged and a bucket under every leak.
We are hoping that the Council will contribute to the costs of replacing the roof. So far though they are only financing a temporary fix of tarpaulin. Even if they do replace the felt, there will be associated costs from rewiring, ceiling replacement, and insulation which they won't finance - and will not be covered by our own insurance. So our first fund-raising priority is fixing the roof and our first fund raiser is the Christmas Raffle! More on this below...
Social Membership Online!
For a long while, Social Membership has been an option at Moor Green Allotments - for friends of Plot-holders who would like to use the allotment facilities (Pavilion, parking, bird watching, events etc). Due to advancements in our website, it has never been so easy to invite your friends to sign up as Social Members. Button below.
Rats, Squirrels, Foxes, Badgers and Traps
Many of us are plagued by the activities of one or more of the above, those of us keeping chickens particularly so. Defensive actions, aimed at keeping the pest animal away from the plot, are the most recommended actions.
In the case of rats these are supplemented by general plot hygiene and frequent disturbance of runs, tunnels, nesting areas etc. Against rats only, domestically available baits may be used by plotholders. They must only be used in proper bait boxes that prevent access by other species.
Dead animals must be removed and safely disposed of on at least a daily basis. This is to prevent knock on poisoning of non-pest animals and birds.
If you are planning on using poison baits it is essential that the site manager Paul Rooney is
informed in advance; and advisable to inform neighbouring plotholders. You may need to go onto their plots to retrieve dead animals. If using live traps, the animal must be humanely killed. Squirrels may be trapped ( there is no poison available for amateur use), and after capture must be humanely killed, not released elsewhere. These are legal requirements. The person doing the humane killing must be trained and licensed. Foxes are carnivores and chickens are among their natural prey. Here the only permitted actions are the passive ones i.e. keeping hens and foxes apart. Badgers are a protected species. They are omnivorous, feeding on plants, worms, slugs etc.
They do target root crops and barriers deflecting them to easier food sources are the only permitted measures.
1. Cockerton Allotment Association website for an example of a fully
worked out protocol
2. BPCA.org.uk This is chiefly squirrels in houses but includes references to legal
Oz Osborn, Horticultural Adviser