Hixon Allotments Association

Latest News.

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Wednesday 6th May 2020
(Zoom meeting)

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Karen Appleton, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton, Suzanne O'Farrell, Mark Connell

5.20.1 Apologies: Nick Brookes, Alan Hartley

5.20.2 Health & Safety Policy/Risk Assessments.
Chris has produced some very comprehensive risk assessments for the site together with a Health and Safety policy. They were unanimously agreed with a couple of minor adjustments.
Once finalised they will be sent to all plot holders before a plot inspection is undertaken in the light of COVID 19. It is hoped that this will take place within the next 6 weeks.
It was suggested that there could be monthly campaigns with different themes (e.g. PPE) to draw plot holders' attention to various aspects of H & S.
Simon will ask John to move the concrete slabs to the area of the proposed storage area so that there are more parking spaces.
The provision of covers for the troughs was discussed, but it was agreed not to do anything at present.
There are broken slabs around one of the troughs – Barry agreed to have a look at what can be done.
Nick asked whether our insurance would cover injury to anyone trespassing on the site. Simon will enquire.
Any accidents or near-misses should be reported to a member of the committee and recorded in an Incident Book. Chris will create one which will be kept in Karen's shed, along with the first aid kit, which has just been up-dated.
The exit from the site onto Egg Lane is difficult and would be helped by a mirror. Simon will talk to John to see if one could be placed by the field.
It was suggested that cars should reverse to park, making it much safer when driving off. CH, SE, SE, BW, SE, CH, SE

5.20.3 Financial Report.
Account balance (9th April) - £4,560.62.
The Memorial Garden fund remains the same at £119.25.

5.20.4 Vacant plots.
There are currently no vacant plots and there are 3 people on the waiting list.

5 20.5 Compost storage area.
Because of the Coronavirus situation, the storage area is unlikely to be completed this year.
The sides of the compost bays are gradually disintegrating and will probably need to be replaced next time the compost is turned or the bay emptied.
The blue cover is splitting and beginning to shred. Karen will look at finding a sturdier replacement which doesn't let in light. KA

5.20.6 Liaison officer.
An email was sent to the PC on 26th February, but as yet there has been no response.

5.20.7 Unsigned tenancy agreement.
The issue has been shelved while social distancing remains in place.

2.20.8 AOB.
There have been complaints about the untidiness of a plot. The plot holders concerned have worked it each year and this year have spent a considerable amount of time on it, but as the weeds aren't cleared properly they always come back and spread to neighbouring allotments. There is no proper border to the plot so soil and weeds spill over onto the path and there are items of broken furniture and old plastic sheeting piled up at the end. Committee members will go and have a look and we will then decide whether the situation can wait until the plot inspection or something more immediate needs to be done.


Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Wednesday 19th February 2020
in the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Karen Appleton, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton, Nick Brookes, Alan Hartley (+ Pete Appleton to discuss compost storage area)

2.20.1 Apologies: Suzanne O'Farrell, Mark Connell

2.20.2 Quiz. (Sunday 26th January)
The recent quiz was well-attended, went very well and raised £151.40 for WFA funds.

2.20.3 Financial Report.
Account balance (13th December) - £3,832.49
The Memorial Garden funds remain the same at £119.25.
Barry has been paid for the fittings for the water trough and pest control charges have been paid to SBC.

2.20.4 Vacant plots.
There is now only one vacant plot and no-one on the waiting list. This has been put on the PC website and shared with other parishes. Chris will mention this again on Facebook.

2 20.5 Composting talk.
Chris has arranged for Mick Poultney to give a talk on composting on Sunday 26th April at 7.00pm in the Memorial Hall.
This will be a social event to mark the beginning of the growing season and the opening of the new storage area. There will also be a raffle. Chris will design a poster for Facebook and it will be put in the Compass. Other local gardening groups will be invited.

2.20.6 Liaison officer.
The position of a liaison officer was discussed and it was agreed that this would be useful.

2.20.7 Unsigned tenancy agreement.
The unsigned tenancy agreement was discussed.

2.20.8 Wildlife area.
This will be a project which will follow the completion of the storage area. We hope that this would include a water or bog area as well as flowers to attract pollinators.

2.20.9 Risk assessments.
Chris has done a lot of work on reviewing the risk assessments and has drawn up a health and safety policy. He has asked for feedback at the next meeting.

2.20.10 Compost Storage.
The risk assessments and method statements for the construction of the storage area have been completed and will be sent to the PC.
Pete is not sure where the water pipe runs so he will dig a test hole to try to find it before work begins. Chris has offered to help.
It is hoped that the drainage channel can be put where originally planned, but it can be moved a small distance if necessary.
An auger will be needed to dig some small holes for the posts, otherwise a great deal of concrete might be needed.
Pete will draw up a plan for the work, which will be sent to the PC along with the risk assessment and method statement. We will then liaise with John Martin and the man with the digger to set a date to start. Volunteers will be needed and a cement mixer.

12.19.12 AOB.
Water troughs
– Two troughs have now been installed. One needs some pipe-work and both will need covers. We will look at the troughs at Colwich to see how they manage theirs.
Memorial garden – One holly tree has been removed, but there is another which is causing a lot of shade in the garden. Tim or Joe will be asked if anything can be done about it. Apart from that it is looking good and the rota is working well.
Fruit and vegetable competition – Colwich allotments have a fruit and vegetable show in September and WFA members are eligible to take part. They will send publicity material nearer the time.

Next meeting: Tuesday 21st April 2020

Covid 19 Emergency Measures
March 29th, 2020
UPDATED 29/03/20

Dear Plot holders,
Following the instructions around movement and gatherings from the Prime Minister on 23 March 2020, it is vitally important that you follow all the advice about social distancing and hygiene in the points below and not gather together on site.

Any plot-holder who is self-isolating because a household member is ill with corona-virus should not be visiting the site.

Wellington Fields Allotments have displayed an advice notice on the notice board. It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and not wash hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in the water tanks and please pay attention to notice board.

It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified to Secretary. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70 and those with underlying illness or pregnant women.

We are living through a crisis, the likes of which none of us has experienced before, not since war time has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times.

Covid 19 Emergency Measures- Essential to read and follow

Updated information members should take the following precautionary measures

Important Link to the full guidance or scan the code


·         Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly.

·         Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locks.

·         Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres and no more than two people.

·         DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart for guidance.


·         If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.

·         Do not share tools.

·         Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes.

·         Do not wash your hands in water troughs.

·         Inform the secretary if anyone in your household has been infected.

·         For guidance, if you do need to clean an area that has been visited by an infected person. See below.



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Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Tuesday 17th December 2019 in the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Alan Hartley, Karen Appleton, Mark Connell, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton.

12.19.1 Apologies:
Nick Brookes, Suzanne O'Farrell

12.19.2 Minutes of previous meetings and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 17th September 2019 were approved by the committee and signed by the chairman.
A decision about NSALG will be made at the AGM, with both options put to the plot holders.
The donated slabs were brought to the site and all have been used.

12.19.3 Financial report. (13th November)
The account balance is £2660.59.
Barry has been paid for the water trough and fixings (£94.95). Simon has been paid for the strimmer repairs and fuel and Pete has been reimbursed for the engineer's charge for the site visit.
There are 2 new tenants who have paid pro rata rents.
We have had a £50.00 donation to the Memorial fund, which now stands at £119.25.

12.19.4 Waiting list/vacant plots.
There are no vacant plots and no-one on the waiting list.

12.19.5 Compost storage area.
Simon, Pete Appleton and Brendan McKeown had a site meeting with the structural engineer discuss the proposed design of the storage area. The engineer seemed happy with the plans but we have not yet had anything in writing. Simon will ring him for written confirmation.
Before the work begins, Pete will produce a risk assessment.
The PC still want to put boarding on the end of the plots on the left-hand side of the access path. The committee feel that this is unnecessary and not the best use of the ring-fenced money. Once the compost storage area is agreed it would be good for a delegation from the committee to meet representatives from the PC to discuss the issue. SE , PA.

12.19.6 Composting guidelines.
Once the storage area has been completed we will revamp the guidelines to ensure that all plot holders are aware of the processes and procedures.

12.19.7 Uncultivated/untidy plots.
Plot holders with uncultivated plots have been written to. One tenant has spent a great deal of time clearing and tidying his plot. We have heard nothing from the other plot holder and so they will not be invoiced for the next season.

12.19.8 Unsigned Tenancy Agreement.
Jane will deliver another copy of the TA to the plot holder concerned and will ask that they sign and return it by 1st January. JG

12.19.9 Quiz.
This will be held on Sunday 26th January, at 7.30pm in the Bank House.

12.19.10 Newsletter.
The committee agreed a list of items for the next newsletter. AH

12.19.11 Wildlife area.
Once the storage area has been completed, this will be the next project.

12.19.12 A.O.B.
Water trough – Simon thanked Barry for all his work on acquiring and installing the water trough. John Martin has another trough which will be installed in the spring and once they are in use, a decision will be made as to whether to replace all the taps with troughs.

Next meeting: January 22nd at 7.30pm in the Bank House (to discuss the quiz)

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Monday, 20th January 2020 in the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Karen Appleton, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton, Nick Brookes (+ Pete Appleton to discuss compost storage area)

1.20.1 Apologies:
Suzanne O'Farrell, Alan Hartley, Mark Connell

1.20.2 Quiz (Sunday 26th January – 7.30pm)
Simon will prepare the questions and will donate £20 for the first prize. There will be second and third prizes of £10 and £5.
We have a selection of raffle prizes including a magnum of rosé wine (with many thanks to Chris Lewis).
Simon will sit in the corner of the restaurant, in the hope that the sound system will be better.
The Bank House will be serving pizzas.
The quiz has been publicised by W.F.A. on the village FaceBook pages and also by the Bank House.
Jane will email a reminder to plot holders. SE, CH, JG

1.20.3 Vacant plots.
There are now two vacant plots with no-one on the waiting list. Chris will mention this on FaceBook and Jane will ask Catherine to put it on the Parish Council website. CH, JG.

1.20.4 Access path.
The committee is aware that some plot holders are storing items at the end of their plots but on the edge of the main access path. At present this is not causing any problems but we will keep an eye on it and will make sure that the access is not reduced.

1.20.5 Compost Storage.
Pete has been in touch with the structural engineer who has put his conclusions concerning the plans in writing. He feels that there is no risk and if a problem with the construction were to arise it would occur very slowly and could be easily addressed. He suggested that a land drain be inserted at the edge of the structure to avoid pressure on the retaining wall. Pete felt that this would be easy to do.
The engineer's letter has been passed to the PC for their records and it is hoped that we will be given the go ahead at the next PC meeting.
Pete explained how the area would be constructed and that a method statement and risk assessments are being drawn up. The site will be closed while the work is carried out.
Simon thanked Pete for all his work on the project.

1.20.6 A.O.B.
We will need to make a decision about membership of N.S.A.L.G. before the subscriptions are due and therefore before the A.G.M. Details of options will therefore be given to plot holders in the next few months and opinions gauged.

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