bonfires

Now that we have had some rain, with more expected from tomorrow, bonfire rules return to normal (ie, fires are permitted after 6pm or dusk if sooner, and not on Sundays). Plotholders must ensure that fires are completely out before leaving, and take care that no dry vegetation nearby can catch fire. Please minimise your need to burn items by composting and recycling.

These guidelines are from Cam Parish Council, but apply equally in Oxford:

If after having carefully considered the alternatives you still decide to have a bonfire, there are some
guidelines that will help to ensure that you don’t cause a nuisance:
 Always observe the simple courtesy of letting your neighbours know when you intent to light the
fire.
 Only burn dry material and never burn household rubbish or anything with plastic, foam, paint or
rubber in it. Do not take rubbish to the site to burn.
 Never use old engine oil, methylated spirits, or petrol to light or encourage a fire. Not only does this
make smoke, it is also very dangerous.
 Avoid lighting fires in unsuitable weather conditions such as damp, still days.
 Avoid times when the wind will blow smoke over roads or into neighbour’s gardens.
 Avoid burning when people want to enjoy their gardens such as at weekends or Bank Holidays.
 Air Pollution is described using four bands – LOW, MODERATE, HIGH and VERY HIGH. Avoid burning
when air pollution in the area is anything other than Low. You can check this at the DEFRA Air
Information Resource at https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/which provides daily forecast levels of air
pollution.
 Always check the stack intended for burning to look for hibernating hedgehogs or other animals that
may be in it.
 Never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder.
 Never use water to douse a bonfire. It may appear as if the fire has been safely put out but the water
only serves to superheat the ashes and they could re-ignite some hours later. When you have to
leave the bonfire site always throw soil or sand over it to smother the heat source.
 Bear in mind the law of statutory nuisance; regular smoky bonfires – or even a
single one which is very polluting – could be regarded as a statutory nuisance and result in a legal
notice being served on you by the Council.

New gate, please close it

We have a shiny new gate, plus new fence at our woodchip gate! We are grateful to the City Council for tidying up the frontage in this way. We are not planning on locking the gate at present, but as with the shop gate we would ask everyone to leave it closed, especially at night. As we have had various incidents of anti-social behaviour/unsavoury rubbish left in that car park, we are looking to make it less inviting to passersby.

NB, should you find anything in that car park (or anywhere else) that you don’t feel confident to deal with, please contact the council here  https://www.oxford.gov.uk/homepage/122/report_an_environmental_problem to have it dealt with safely and as a priority. You can also find info via that page re disposing of needles etc. yourself.

Dry weather, fires and water butts. Also lost glasses.

In view of the very dry conditions on site at the moment, we have taken the decision to ban all fires for the time being. In the past smouldering fires have spread in dry weathers, destroying sheds and crops as they go, and causing the emergency services to have to break in to the site to deal with them. To avoid this happening again, please compost your waste and make use of the Redbridge recycling facility. If there’s anything you feel you really must burn, please hold on until wetter weather returns.

In related matters, please a) refill water butts when you use them so they are full for the next user and b) turn off the tap when you’ve done that!

Finally, a pair of glasses were found on the middle row, and are awaiting collection on the table of plot 92.

Plot inspections

We have updated our cultivation guidelines to show how we inspect the plots, and what our next steps are for under used plots. There are a number of plots on site which are not being used effectively and we will be looking to relet those to new starters very soon. We are also aware that there are a great many unmown and unmaintained paths on and alongside plots that are being used. PLEASE MOW YOUR PATHS AND DON’T LET THE GRASSES SEED ON EVERYONE ELSE’S PLOTS.

Plant swap, Sunday 10 June

Thank you to all who brought plants to swap or who made a contribution to Garden Organic – we raised £11. There was a wide range of swaps going on, including cucumbers, tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, cabbages, squash, courgettes, strawberries, blackcurrants, celeriac, and sweet williams.
There are some plants left over – they are outside the shop by the water butt and need homes so help yourself, and drop off any spare plants if you have them.

Rules reminders!

Plot inspections will be taking place at the end of this week, and we will be looking to re-let those plots that are not being used according to the rules, unless we have heard from you and agreed to extend the time allowed for getting them in order. It is the rule, and a great help to the committee, that each plot should have it’s number displayed. Shed labelled with large numerals

 

Side paths are the responsibility of the neighbouring plotholders, and should be maintained and mown by them. They are not footpaths for the use of one and all, please stick to the main paths and your own side paths.

Please keep an eye on the waterbutts – they should be left full for the next user, but are occasionally left with the tap running and overflow – do turn the tap off if you see this happening or about to happen! Our water is metered, and we pay the bills with the rent money. Children sometimes love to play with them, but again, if yours are getting carried away, please redirect them to play with it in buckets or watering cans on your plot rather than at the water tank itself.

 

 

Cub scouts offering gardening help

2nd Oxford Cubs (based in Ridgefield Rd) want to do their gardening badge but they need somewhere to do some gardening. They’d like to volunteer their time between 6.30-8pm on these dates:  30/4, 21/5, 11/6, 16/7.
There are around 18 cubs (age 7-10), and can be dispersed between a few allotments.
They need to use at least 3 different tools and watch plants grow. Ideally they would plant something the first session and then watch it grow, so working on the same allotments each time is preferred.
Whilst the allotmenteers attendance isn’t strictly necessary it is recommended to ensure that the right tasks are done and weeding is done correctly!
Let us know if you think you could offer some space for them to do this!
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