Chair’s Update To Members – July 2013

Thank you to the few people who did turn up to help with the works in the composting area – notably Dave, Bernard, Roger, Derek, Annette and Mick.  In future, it would be much better if we all took a small share of the burden with communal site works rather than let it fall on the shoulders of a small minority.  Even if you can only spare one hour on one day to help out, that is better than not turning up at all – especially when works are spread-out over three weeks to enable all able-bodied persons to participate.


The second plot inspection of the year will take place by Monday 15th July – any plot that fails will only have until 1st August to bring the plot up to standard –due to the timeline for the Open Day.


There will be an Open Day for the site during National Allotments Week (5th-11th August) – most likely on Saturday 10th August – to be confirmed.


2)      New Website – Public Launch

The Public Launch date (t.b.c.) of our new website featuring the online Fruit and Veg Exchange for the High Peak will be during the first week of August.


From 10th July, there will be a 14-day trial period for members to test the website, make suggestions and contributions to improve it – and for the Website Committee to incorporate the necessary changes in time for the public launch.


The website needs much more content, especially contributions from members. This is our website and the committee want all of you to have a stake in it being successful.


Therefore, I am asking each of you to think of a practical gardening topic for which you have enthusiasm and some experience – and to write briefly about it i.e. How do you make compost teas from nettles or comfrey? How do you successfully grow cabbages?   These contributions will be added to the list of FAQs on the site.


Please send all contributions and suggestions to Dave Sudworth by email:


3)      High Peak Borough Council’s Allotment Strategy and New Allotment Sites

The final draft of the strategy is being reviewed prior to going back to the Communities Select Committee for approval.  Although the strategy officially ends in April 2015, there is a suggestion to ask the Committee to extend it by 18 months so that all the good work done so far can be continued by the next Council with the obligation to review at the end of that period –GAFA fully supports this position.


The strategy will deliver two new allotment sites for Glossopdale by spring 2015 – one at Gamesley (25 allotments) and one at Dinting Lane (100 allotments) –subject to planning approval.  Both sites will be statutory allotments, meaning that they are permanent and can only be removed by an order of the Secretary of State, with the obligation on the Council to find an equivalent alternative site if this is necessary – though it is highly unlikely to happen.


GAFA is working closely with the Council to ensure that the Dinting Lane site has all the necessary facilities including adequate car parking, a mains water supply and a composting toilet.


The Glossopdale Allotments Forum  agreed that the fairest and best way to allocate plots for these new sites will be to create a single statutory waiting list. This would combine all official applications for allotments made to the Council i.e. waiting lists for Jordan Street, Glossop with the Gamesley waiting list and the GAFA membership list (without any effect on the waiting list for St Mary’s Road which has temporary allotments).  The order of the statutory list would be by the date of first application to the Council (for those that appear on more than one list).


Therefore, if you signed GAFA’s petition in 2008, but you are reading this and you are still not a paid-up member of GAFA – you must join the group this year to allow your application through the petition to count.  If you do not, you will not be added to the new statutory list from the date that you signed. An explanatory press release will be issued shortly requesting that this takes place.


4) Curly Cornet Site

Thanks mostly to the hard work of Roger Broadbent and Bernard Gore with some contributions of plants from other members, the Curly Cornet garden is looking good – and we are getting plenty of compliments – either to me or Dave Thomas, the café owner.


The purpose of the garden is to encourage people to start growing their own produce, to produce some fresh food for the Bare Necessities Food Bank and to promote GAFA and what we are doing with and for allotments in the town.


Signage will finally go up this week giving all the necessary info to the public about what is taking place.


This situation is good – but could be better.  I encourage all members to give Bernard and Roger a hand by helping out for one hour once a week on the regular work mornings – especially with the watering, now that the heat is here.


Water is available from the café – Dave Thomas has a short hose that he pops out onto the street where you can fill the can, by reaching through a flap window to turn on the tap.  Just ask in the café before watering.


We also need more flowers for the site – so if you have any spare seedlings please donate these.


Regular work mornings are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 9-11am.


Mark Alix