Fields Hixon Allotment
Chairman’s Annual Report June 2015.
Wellington Fields Allotments is entering its fifth season and it is a great asset to the Hixon community. It is a pleasure to stand and look at the developments on the individual plots and to admire the general condition and order of the site. Sincere thanks to the Martin family for donating the land and to Hixon Parish Council for their initial work in setting up the site.
The site consists of 63 quarter plots of 15m x 5 m and there are currently 42 plot holders with one person on the waiting list. Due to increased costs, we had to put the rents up this year by £4 per quarter plot. The annual rent is £36 per quarter plot, £60per half plot and £108 for a full plot payable in February. There is still plenty of space for car parking despite the siting of communal composting bins (thanks to Alan Hartley for his continued maintenance of these) which have proved to be very popular. There is the provision of running water by strategically placed taps.
The day to day running of the site is delegated to the WFAA committee, for which I am acting Chairman, Karen Appleton is Secretary and Treasurer and we have a further 8 committee members – Chris Hilton, Alan Hartley (Website manager), Joe Craen, Mark Connell, Mark Pearce, Rose Jones, Jane Garner and Barry Williams. We have a great blend of complementary characters and skill sets and the committee reflects a cross section of plot holders to ensure we operate the allotments in a diligent, accountable, respectful and dynamic manner that allows plot holders to enjoy the full benefit of the facility.
The committee meets regularly and all minutes are posted on our website (See
Particular thanks to Karen Appleton for devoting a significant amount of time in organising the day to day activities of the allotments and for doing do in such a diligent manner often in the face of unwarranted pressure from outside agencies.
The WFAA committee are in the early stages of putting together a medium term improvement plan for the allotments which will incorporate physical improvements to the site and to the access as well as developments in Health and Safety, finance, communication, advice and the social side. The improvement plan is wholly aimed at improving the experience of our plot holders and allowing your ideas and input to be incorporated into the day to day running of the allotments. Thanks to Chris Hilton for leading on this.
We still retain a healthy balance of funds which is due in the main to our fund raising activities. We did have to spend some money last year on pest control (the results of which has seen a great improvement) which has meant small rent increases outlines above.
The entrance to the allotments continues to be of concern – it is in poor condition and constitutes a continued health and safety risk. Contractually, it is the joint responsibility of Hixon Parish Council and the Martin family. The Martin family have undertaken some repairs of their own, for which we thank them. Hixon Parish Council, however, continue to divest themselves of their responsibility in this area. The improvement plan will attempt to address this.
The Wellington Fields Allotments continue to be a fantastic asset for the village and, personally, for someone who has lived in the village for 25 years, I take great pride in observing the tangible enjoyment fellow plot holders take from the site.
Probably our greatest challenge is improving our relationship with Hixon Parish Council and my major objective in the next year will be to work at this. However, whatever the outcome of this, I have total confidence that WFAA have the commitment and skill set to deliver our continuous improvements whether in partnership or alone.