Allotment Community Social Event – Saturday 23rd June

On Saturday the 23rd June was the 1st Social Event for the new Lansdowne Allotment Association, organised by Jenny and many willing helpers.
Held in one of our community orchards in the afternoon. It was a super attendance with about 50 plot holders, family & friends. They came laden with savoury dips and a wide range of delicious home made cakes and biscuits. With cups of tea provided by Pete.
It was a great opportunity to sit, eat and chat about all things allotment wise. It established that the new association is a community of like minded plot holders that enjoy growing and eating tasty vegetables.
General thoughts were, when is the next one.
John Young ( Chair Person)

Be alert – thieves are about

Denham Allotments, in South Bucks, have recently had a break-in where a number of lawnmowers and cultivators were stolen. Please can all plot holders take sensible precautions when using equipment such as keeping valuable equipment hidden and locked away.
Ideally keep a log of these details so that they could be identified if they are stolen:
1. photo
2. serial number
3. write postcode on equipment.

Vacant Chair

No, it’s not a plot based party game but, having tendered a month notice to the committee, I am (as of the 25th) no longer involved with the association committees. If you have any communications to make to the association concerning ANY aspect of the running of the site please approach directly or in writing, a current committee member. Thank you.

The next committee meeting is on the 2nd May so an announcement re the new structure should hopefully be forthcoming thereafter.

Pond and Boxes and So Much More

All sorts of good stuff has been happening over the past week with Dave and team finishing the ploughing of plots, digging the pond in the new wildlife area and levelling the car park on East. The first of the bat and bird boxes have gone up and we have received the 420 trees from The Woodland Trust for the first new wildlife hedges which are to be planted on Monday with the help of the Eastland’s School children.

The Trees Are Here

We are delighted to report that the 420 wildlife trees that we have been lucky enough to get from The Woodland Trust have now arrived. We are going to be planting them and establishing a wildlife friendly hedgerow in plot No 1 (The Secret Garden) to further enhance this wildife friendly space. As one of our many community initiatives, the children from Eastlands’ School will be popping throughout the planting day in order to help us plant the hedgerow and to get an understanding of the importance of respecting and helping nature. This hedgerow further establishes plot No1 (and in turn) the allotments as a very important wildlife corridor and link in to the Local Wildlife Sites that are currently being established around our site.

New Key Exchange


It was great to see so many of you over the weekend and I am delighted to report that over 70% of all the new keys have been allocated over the two days but, obviously, we still have some outstanding.

You can exchange your old key for a new one on an ongoing basis from the shop on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 11am -12 noon.

You will not be issued with a new key if you have not paid this year’s fee(s), if you have not returned your completed membership form or if you do not hand in your old key. You can pay by cash or cheque or the day if necessary.

Key and Lock Changeover – Saturday 10th February

As was originally negotiated, to ensure both plot holder and site security, we organised a complete change of all locks and keys and we have now been supplied with these by Rugby Borough Council. We are going to change the locks on the morning of Saturday 10th February and the new keys will be available for exchange on that day from outside the shop between 9am-9.30am, in the shop from 11am – 12 noon and from outside the shop between 1.30 and 2pm. 


Key exchange will continue to be available on an ongoing basis from the shop on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 11am -12 noon.

To obtain your new key (and possibly some seed potatoes- Pete has a vast array in stock at amazing prices) pop along to the shop with your old key and plot number and simply exchange it for a new one. You will not be issued with a new key if you have not paid this year’s fee(s), if you have not returned your completed membership form or if we have not had your old key returned. The new keys are black banded ones for the East site and orange ones for West. 

All of the key deposits paid originally to RBC have now been transferred to us.

Please note you will not be able to gain access to site after Saturday 10th unless you have exchanged your old key and we MUST have that old key returned.

Thank you for helping us to improve the site security and good gardening.

Karl Hine


Worth a Listen

If you’re not going to buy Penelope Lively’s new book, treat yourself to a listen of today’s excerpt.


Stephanie Cole reads Penelope Lively’s intimate meditation on gardening, literature and creativity. Today’s episode considers city allotments and the suburban garden.


Wrapping Up for Winter

As the main growing season comes to an end a lot of our tools will be lying dormant until next year, but a little care now will more than pay dividends next year. Believe it or not, petrol goes off over time and manufacturers suggest it should be used in a month in small engines like strimmers and chain saws as if it’s just left in your machines the old petrol produces gums and solids that can clog up the carburettor and the rest of the system.

You can get additives like Briggs & Stratton Fuel Fit that stabilise the fuel and extend its shelf life but for winter storage you’re best to drain the fuel from the tank and then run the engine to clear the last fuel from the system.

Check your manual for how to ‘mothball’ your equipment, for example where there is exposed metal as on the rotavator tines or chrome, run over it with an oily rag which will prevent corrosion.

Electrical equipment and hand tools just need a good clean and the oily rag treatment where appropriate. With wooden handled tools a rub over with linseed or teak oil will help keep the wood in good condition.

It’s a good idea to check rotary lawnmower blades. If they’re chipped or blunted then you can sharpen them ready for next year but do take care not to take more off one side than another as it will throw the blade out of balance and this can damage the machine.

Most garden machinery shops offer blade sharpening and balancing at a small charge. If you’ve equipment that really needs a shop service, now is the right time to get them in because everyone else will be taking them in the spring when they’re needed.

Warwickshire Drooper Plums

Could we ask you all to please be careful around the base of all the Warwickshire Drooper plums as we will be lifting as many of the self set suckers as we can in order to try and establish new trees/community orchards and we are also currently talking with a National Heritage orchard scheme who may be interested in taking stock, many thanks.