Eat fresh, tasty, organic fruit and veg that you have grown yourself.
Work with nature and turn food miles into food metres.
Unwind whilst getting regular exercise in the fresh air and making new friends.
Longcroft Allotment Association run two allotment sites on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Our purpose is to manage the sites for the use and enjoyment of our members, promoting allomenteering in Welwyn Garden City and providing help and mutual support for members
Our income comes from plotholder rents and members subscription fees. This income is used to run our sites and maintain and improve our facilities.
Both sites have running water for irrigating crops. Unlike many allotment sites both our sites have toilet facilities.
The Digswell site also has a well equiped kitchen.
Members also receive four newsletters a year, a chance to participate in a discounted seed scheme and invitation to a social events e.g. Summer BBQ.
We are always more than happy to receive ideas for how benefits of membership can be further developed and enhanced.
Q: How much time committment is needed to manage an allotment?
A: This is difficult to answer. It will depend on many factors; what state the plot is in when you take it over; what size is your plot; what you want to grow (some crops are more demanding than others); what horticultural methods you employ (raised beds, no dig gardening, mulching, double digging etc); the weather (in dry spells watering is an essential committment).
In general though, you could bank on needing to commit a couple of hours a week through the peak growing season, and in dry weather 30 minutes of watering every other day.
But having said all that, as with most things, the more you put in the more you will get out - of fresh air, exercise, enjoyment, sense of achievement and of course beautiful and tasty fresh fruit and vegetables.
Q: How much does an allotment cost?
A: Not as much as you may think. Rent is £11.04 per pole, per annum (half of all rents collected are then paid to WHBC) and plots vary in size from 2 poles to 7 poles in size.
There is 50% discount for the over 65's.
On top of the rent there is £5 subscription to be paid per Association member.
Q: What is the expected standard of plot cultivation?
A: 25% of the plot is expected to be under cultivation within 3 months of taking on a new plot and 100% within 12 months.
Plots aren't expected to be kept pristine, they are for growing vegetables not an ornamental show garden. You will though, be expected to keep weeds under control, and mow the grass paths surrounding your plot. Nothing too onerous but showing consideration to your neighbouring plotholders.
Q: What communal responsibilities do plotholder have?
We are a community association and there are inevitably things that need doing on behalf of the whole allotment community. There will be several work parties each year and we encourage our plotholders to volunteer as much as they can.
In addition volunteers are always needed for mower maintenance, water pump care, contributing to the newsletter, running the shop, joining the committee, cooking at the summer BBQ etc etc. We encourage everyone to get involved, meet new friends and have fun!
Andrew Hepher - Chairman
Members of the Longcroft Allotment Association are also members of the National Allotment Society.
The National Allotment Society is the national organisation which upholds the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK. It works with government at national and local levels and other organisations to provide, promote and preserve allotments and offers support, guidance and advice to its members (and others with an interest in allotment gardening).
Members of our Association are entitled to free insurance and access to discounted seeds (from the Kings catalogue) through its membership the Society. The Society provides many other benefits, and its web-site contains advice on planning an allotment, crops, monthly jobs and tips on: managing water during droughts, producing your own compost, and pest control.
Its web-site also describes some traditional gardening methods, some of which are still commonly upheld, whilst others seem to have fallen by the wayside. For example, ‘planting by the moon’ is based on an ancient belief that above-ground crops should be planted during the Waxing Moon, while root crops should be planted during the Waning Moon. Surely that’s worth a try?!
For more information see www.nsalg.org.uk
Sign up to hear from us, communication, events and newsletters.