WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT APPLYING FOR AN ALLOTMENT PLOT OF YOUR OWN?
Allotment life is not all about picking juicy Strawberries and sitting in a Chair on your plot having a quiet drink in the afternoon sunshine. Yes, it can and does happen, but you also must have the time to weed and weed again between your seedlings, cover them with netting to keep the birds off, and shovel Manure and Compost in all weather.
So, what do you need to consider before you put your name on the waiting list for a plot? We assume that you are keen to grow your own crops, but the big question is do you have the time available to manage an Allotment Plot? Every time we get TV programs about Allotments are waiting list quickly increases in size, but the reality is that a lot of the people who apply only stay for a few months once they get a Plot.
People often wonder why we insist that you must come onsite and speak with us before we will add your name to our waiting list. It is because we want to be sure you understand what is involved, can see how large a plot is, and work out what size you need or can cope with. We often get asked how long it takes to manage a plot, we cannot give a general answer because it depends on what crops you grow. Some need lots of attention others very little between planting and harvest. We are not vetting you to see if you are a suitable applicant, we are trying to make sure you understand fully what you would be taking on.
You will need to be able to spend at least 6 to 8 hours on-site each week in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and perhaps a little less in the Winter. This timetable assumes low-maintenance crops are planted and you are reasonably fit and work hard. In a hot summer like 2022 you would need to be able to attend the site several times a week to water some plants.
The rewards of having an Allotment Plot are great, but as is often the case in life you do have to be prepared to do some work to reap the benefits.
Quite a few of the plots that become available have been handed back to us in a poor state, they often have weeds and grass growing all over them. We do not clear weeds or dig plots prior to letting that is down to the new tenant to do. Part of the reason we have low annual rents is that we do not maintain a paid workforce.
How to Apply to go on the Waiting List & Plot Application Procedure
We only accept applications to go on the waiting list for a Plot at North Bournemouth Allotments that are made in person at the Site Office.
You can just turn up on a Saturday morning between 10 am and 11.30 am, but it is best if you book an appointment first by sending an email to our Membership Secretary - email@example.com. When you come to see us, we will need to know your name, postal address including postcode, email address if you have one, and/or a contact telephone number. You will not need to pay any money at this time
When you get to the top of the waiting list and are offered a plot we are also required by the Council to check that you are a resident of the old Bournemouth Borough Council area, we can accept Utility Bills or similar official documents that show your name and address and have been issued within the last four months.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO HAVE AN ALLOTMENT PLOT AT NORTH BOURNEMOUTH?
All our Plots are let on an annual tenancy starting on the 1st of January each year, if you join part way through the year, we adjust the rent due on a quarterly basis starting from the 1st of January.
At the moment a full plot costs £60, 3/4 Plots 50, a half plot £40, a quarter plot £20, and a raised bed £10 per year. Raised beds are reserved for people with mobility problems or who have disabilities that would make a normal plot difficult or impossible to cope with.
A £30 returnable bond is payable when you are given a plot, this is returned when you leave, subject to the plot being in as good or better condition than you received it in and free from rubbish and personal possessions.
You will also be asked to pay a returnable deposit of £20 for two keys which will give you access to the site and toilets restroom. You may purchase a set of extra keys to the main gate and clubhouse toilets for £20
Apart from complying with the Society’s Rules and Bye-Laws, paying the rent on time, and keeping the plot properly cultivated, the only requirement for membership is that you are and remain a resident of the old Borough of Bournemouth. This may change under the new BCP Council but, at least for now, the Council is restricting our Membership to the boundaries that were in place under the old Borough of Bournemouth.
We cannot really give you a clear idea of how long you would have to wait as the number of members leaving each year is very flexible. At a guess, you could have a wait of up anything up to 3 years although most Members get a Plot within one year.
If you wish to monitor your movement up the waiting list, you may come and look at your position on the list. The waiting list is on display in the Clubhouse Coffee Shop. You can gain access to view the list any Saturday or Sunday (except over Christmas & New Year) between 10.00 & 11.45 am when the main gates are always open.
If you are going to be away for more than 2 weeks or are going into hospital etc. please let us know in case we need to contact you about a plot becoming available. If we do not know you are away from home, you may miss your chance of getting a plot that is available now. We normally make use of all the contact methods you have provided us with. We email or phone you first and follow up with a text message or letter if we get no response. We do not normally try on more than three occasions to get in contact with you.
If you are going into hospital or have health or other short-term problems we will always try to help if we can.
If you turn down a Plot when offered one, without reasonable cause, you will be moved to the bottom of the waiting list if you turn down a second plot when offered you will be removed from our list.
It is very also very important that you advise us of any change in your personal details, if we cannot contact you using the information you have provided, we will assume that you no longer wish to have an allotment. If you move outside the old Borough of Bournemouth, you are not eligible for a plot.
Once you have applied for an allotment plot it is very important that you advise us of any changes to address, email, phone number, etc. by:
Post to: North Bournemouth Allotment Society Limited
or by e-mail to - firstname.lastname@example.org