August News Update


Site Maintenance Work

There have been some ill-informed rumours circulating of doom and destruction due to having a digger on site, so here are the facts.

The digger will operate in a number of site locations carrying out essential work in one day which would otherwise take many hours of manual labour. The board unanimously agreed to this at the April board meeting. Projects include:

Moving and levelling soil around the margins of unoccupied plot 77 (behind the Trading Shed) which can then be grassed and planted with fruit and nut trees to improve the general amenity on site and also partially screen the new build houses.

Also the burning plot (7), which has been looking very untidy, will be having a much needed clean up. We will in addition remove the mound in the centre of the communal area. Any suitable soil and materials from this will be recycled and used elsewhere around the site to build up verges, fill depressions and level pathways. Any surplus will be made available to plotholders.

One willow tree will be removed because of its invasive root system, and heritage variety fruit trees will be planted to replace it and also to fill other spaces. On this note we would welcome suggestions of old varieties of fruit trees which are in danger of being lost which we could plant to improve the communal area. Local heritage apple cultivars include Fearn’s Pippin, Howgate Wonder and Sunset.

A specimen walnut tree will be planted in place of the mound. This will look great, give shade on hot summer days and also, hopefully, a good crop of walnuts.

There are large pieces of plastic and rusty metal on and around the communal plot which have no place there. These will be removed and a few low shrubs which have struggled for light, air and water will be transplanted.

Unfortunately, the ground beneath the trees in the communal area was lined with plastic sheeting. If left this will ultimately breakdown into micro plastics and quite likely end up in the fruit. We would like to remove the plastic. The area under the fruit trees can then be levelled and seeded with grasses and wild flowers which will be good for bees, other pollinators and amphibians. Native daffodils and bluebells could also be planted making it a truly beautiful place. The grass under the trees could be managed like a hay meadow to prevent trees and brambles taking over, whilst significantly reducing the amount of maintenance.

In the past, the trees in the communal area were quite severely pruned. They will now be allowed to develop more naturally which will increase their beauty and fruit yields.

This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance and enrich the communal area for the enjoyment of all plotholders.

Other work will include tree stump and roadway clearing in areas close to plots 16/17/69/101-103 and around the Nursery Avenue entrance.

Thefts

We are sadly receiving reports of produce and other items being taken from a number of plots. Please be vigilant and report immediately any suspicious behaviour or anyone on site who may not be a plotholder. Theft is a problem common to all allotment sites and presently Barnet Allotment Federation have the issue under review.

Litter on Site

We are appealing to all plotholders to help keep the site as tidy as possible by taking home or to Summers Lane all items which we cannot recycle on site. We continue to find on the burning site glass and plastic bottles, plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, metal and items of a toxic nature. We can all help the environment and each other by taking away our litter.

Should you have any questions and have suggestions regarding heritage fruit trees please send an email to sitemanager@pointalls.org or drop a note in the mailbox.