Health and Safety on the Plot

  

Working an allotment is a great pleasure that brings us exercise and enjoyment. But it is also hard physical work. Our allotments should be safe places to work and there are a number of simple steps that we can take to ensure safety.


Working our plots is physical! To minimise the risk of damaging muscles or joints, warm up a little before undertaking digging or other strenuous tasks and break up large jobs into small manageable sections.

Please make sure that your gardening tools are in good condition, that you are dressed appropriately for working your plot, and that you understand how to use the equipment provided by the Association. If you use any pesticides or other chemicals then follow instructions with care and ensure that they are not accessible to children.


The Association provides a basic first aid box (in the locked kitchen at Digswell; and in the cabinet attached to the front of the shed at Broadwater). In addition to this, plotholders should consider whether there is a need to supplement this to meet any personal medical needs.


Take regular breaks and drink regularly – staying hydrated helps to maintain concentration. 

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POLICIES

Sheds

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Before erecting sheds, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any shed must meet the following requirements:


  • The maximum allowable length, width and height are 2.4m, 1.8m and 2.4m respecively.


  • Structures must be positioned at least 50cm away from boundary fences and hedges.


  • No structure shall straddle any paths on the allotment garden.


  • Structures must not be sited on a plot where it will cast shade or cause a nuisance to other plot holders or neighbouring properties.


  • Any shed built must not have a permanent concrete or paved floor surface.


  • A system of guttering must be placed on the shed roof so to collect rainwater in one or more water butts next to the shed.

Greenhouses

Before erecting greenhouses, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any greenhouse must meet the following requirements:


  • The maximum allowable length, width and height are 2.4m, 1.8m and 2.4m respecively.


  • No structure shall straddle any paths on the allotment garden.


  • Structures must not be sited on a plot where it will cast shade or cause a nuisance to other plot holders or neighbouring properties.


  • Any greenhouse built must not have a permanent concrete or paved floor surface.


  • A system of guttering must be placed on the greenhouse roof so to collect rainwater in one or more water butts next to the greenhouse.

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Polytunnels

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Before erecting polytunnels, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any polytunnel must meet the following requirements:


  • Structures must be positioned at least 50cm away from boundary fences and hedges.


  • No structure shall straddle any paths on the allotment garden.


  • Structures must not be sited on a plot where it will cast shade or cause a nuisance to other plot holders or neighbouring properties.


  • Any polytunnel must not have a permanent concrete or paved floor surface.


  • Polytunnels must not take up more than one third of the size of the plot.

Trees

Before planting fruit trees, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any trees must meet the following requirements:


  • Trees must be positioned at least 50cm away from boundary fences and hedges .


  • The tenant may cultivate hard fruit in a manner that does not cause nuisance, annoyance or is injurious to neighbouring plot holders and surrounding homeowners.


  • Fruit trees must be of dwarf root stock variety only and must not be sited on an allotment plot where as they mature they will obstruct boundary pathways, or cast shadows on neighbouring plots.


  • All trees must be correctly maintained and kept in good order.

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Keeping Hens

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Under the 1950 Allotment Act, keeping hens (and rabbits!) is permitted on allotments, so long as they are for the tenants own use and not for business or profit.  


For the Longcroft Allotment Association the maximum number of hens allowed is four per plot.Cockerels are not allowed. If the hens cause nuisance or area  health hazard to other plot-holders, or if their well-being is not adequately allowed for, the Association can require them to be relocated.


The animals’ basic needs must be met by the plotholder, and cannot be taken lightly. As a guide, you should expect to be able to visit them once per day (to feed and water the hens, and to collect eggs) but, under some circumstances (e.g. extreme weather), they may require two visits per day. 


They will reward you with up to an egg per day per hen, a ready supply of chicken manure, and help with pests (hens love scratching around for slugs and snails to supplement their diet).


Further information on keeping hens, including advice on good husbandry, is available from the British Hen Welfare Trust web-site - www.bhwt.org.uk.