Allotment ponds are an attractive feature and have the potential to help you maximise your growing efforts. They are a retreat for frogs and a feeding ground for hedgehogs and birds – all of which are pest controllers.
The Association is supportive of members introducing wildlife ponds on their allotment plots subject to the following conditions:
Ponds should initially be filled with rainwater - tap water contains minerals which encourage algal growth.
Plants and animals will naturally colonise the pond but the following plants will help to provide a diverse habitat:
For further info see https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-create-mini-pond
Before erecting sheds, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any shed must meet the following requirements:
Before erecting greenhouses, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any greenhouse must meet the following requirements:
Before erecting polytunnels, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any polytunnel must meet the following requirements:
Before planting fruit trees, plot-holders must receive approval from the LAA Committee. Any trees must meet the following requirements:
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.
Where a plotholder keeps chickens their emergency contact details must be on display at the plot so that other members can contact them immediately if there is a potential issue with the chickens or the coup.
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.
Bees are an important asset to plotholders and the Association encourages and supports beekeeping on its sites.
Plotholders wishing to keep bees require the permission of the Committee if they wish to keep bees and the Committee retails the right to inspect bees at any time. This is to ensure a balance between the Association's wish to promote responsible beekeeping with the need for all allotment holders to have full enjoyment of their plot. Tenant beekeepers must provide competent care and management together with the knowledge and skills to ensure the wellbeing of their bees.
Beekeepers should be aware that other plotholders may have concerns about bees on site and be willing to mitigate these concerns and provide good advice. Hives must be placed in such a way that the bees and their flight paths do not cause a nuisance for others .
If you are unsure about whether beekeeping is really for you then it is important to attend introductory courses and apiary visits.
Tenant beekeepers must bee a member of the British Beekeepers Association and have the Associations's full insurance cover. Membership of the Hertfordshire Division is strongly recommended.
British Beekeepers Association - www.bbka.org.uk
Hertfordshire Beekeepers Association - www.hertsbees.org.uk