Plot inspection

We will be inspecting the plots this week!

The plots are inspected against our cultivation guidelines which can be found on our website and on all three notice boards which are next to the gates.

Cultivation guidelines

Plot holders are expected to cultivate at least 25% of their plot in the first year and increase the cultivated area by 25% each year to reach at least 75% after three years of tenanting their plot.

Cultivation includes:

  • Annual crops, including cut flowers and green manures.
  • Trees and perennials providing they are well maintained and weeded. (Trees must not be allowed to grow higher than 12’ (3.6m)). Members may, subject to national laws, grow any variety of plant except standard trees. Tree sizes we allow: M27, M9, M26, MM111, M116.
  • Recently dug or otherwise tilled soil.
  • Mown grass.
  • Sheds, compost heaps, well-maintained paths between beds and areas of crop cultivation.
  • Mulching with cardboard and/or woodchip.
  • Crops growing through Plastic sheeting/mypex.

Plastic sheeting/mypex is classed as cultivation when correctly placed to effectively control weed growth.

Large areas of untilled earth or mulch are treated as cultivation providing they are temporary (no more than a year or so)

Non-cultivation includes:

  • Any significant growth of weeds.
  • Rubbish.
  • Brambles (unless they are clearly grown as well -maintained perennials).
  • Long uncut grass, including around fruit trees, paths and areas which are used for seating/picnics.

Using carpet as a mulch is not permitted

Inspection process

We inspect all plots up to four times a year against our cultivation guidelines. Members whose plots do not meet the required standard for the length of their tenancy are then sent a letter/email setting out a time frame during which the plot must be cultivated to the required standard. Plot holders who do not address any cultivation issues within the time frame given will be notified by letter/email and the plot will be let out to someone else.

New plot holders

There is high demand for plots at East Ward. New plot holders are given 6 months to show continued and maintained cultivation (this includes existing members who take on an additional plot.) After the initial 6 month period, the membership secretary will inspect the plot for signs of cultivation. If no signs of continuous activity is present the plot will be re- let to someone else.

Examples of cultivation/activity include: shed repair/building, tree/fruit bush pruning, clearance of rubbish, mulching, plastic sheet laying to stop weed growth, cleared land ready for cultivation, cultivation/crop growing.

Wildlife gardening skillshare and other diary dates

Allotments can be great places for wildlife! Come and join us on September 1st from 12 -1 to share what you know and learn from your fellow plotholders about the best ways to encourage bees, ladybirds, birds and other creatures to survive and thrive on your plot.

Urban Pollinators: Allotments can be great places for ...

Other diary dates: next committee meeting 12 Sept, our AGM (all welcome, please come) 29 Sept, then rent days on 6 and 13 Oct.

Committee members needed!

We are still looking for new committee members as of the AGM at the end of September. If you have some time please join us and use your skills to keep the site running smoothly. We need a secretary and a treasurer as well as regular committee members. Get in touch via email ( or speak to a committee member on site.


Naturehood launches in Oxford:

The Naturehood website is now LIVE! You can take part by registering on our new website. Naturehood is a project created by Earthwatch Europe which focuses on local wildlife. Individual actions for wildlife are fantastic, but imagine what we could achieve if whole communities work together towards a common goal. Our initial target areas are Oxford and Swindon, but anybody in the UK can sign-up and start discovering the wildlife on their doorstep, and by involving your neighbours your community can also become a Naturehood.

Take self-guided surveys and use our spotter’s guides to help with identification, and learn about the wildlife in your garden and how to help it thrive by following our Naturespace actions. Take a quiz to see if you know your bees from your butterflies and your hogs from your frogs!

By repeating these surveys you can help us to build a clearer picture of the biodiversity in your area, and see how your actions are helping.

Notice the nature around you, take action, and share on our social media pages – we would love to see the creatures you discover!

Social media links:

Thank you, and happy surveying!

Chloë – Naturehood Oxford Community Engagement Officer

Summer social – this Saturday!

Come and join us for lunch provided free of charge by plotholder Shamsul Hoque and your committee! We will start at 12 and will have children’s games and activities as well as the oddest thing found on an allotment competition.

We will be providing Indian food plus separate meat and veggie barbecues, do bring anything you’d like to share, picnic mats and of course the oddest thing you’ve found on your plot!

There was an excellent display of produce at the East Ward Allotment Show, held on Saturday. The sports opened much amusement and were keenly contested.
Photos: Mrs Woodly outstripped all competitors in the egg and spoon race. Start of the wheelbarrow race Mr. P. J. Archer takes the sack race very seriously.
Oxford Journal 18-8-1920.

Children’s Allotment workday and meet up

Lots going on this weekend, Barracks Lane Garden’s family activity day on Saturday (see below) and on Sunday our neighbours at the Children’s Allotment (behind our shop) have an event:

All Welcome at the Children’s Allotment

The day will be a planting workday where we will focus on the poly tunnel area and finally put some of the things we have been planting over the weeks into the beds. We will be there from 10-3pm and especially wanted to invite any plot holders, those who have not previously been to see the site, or those who have but would love to know more, to come and meet us, have a chat and see what we have been doing and what our plans are. We have a LOT of flower pots and seeds that you are welcome to take with you and if you have any plants (flowers, herbs, vegetables) that you would like to donate to the project, bring them along and we can plant them together!From 2pm there will be tea and home made cakes to celebrate 🙂 We look forward to seeing you there.
All the best from the Children’s Allotment Team