Newsletter April 2020

Take heed of new restrictions

Not quite two weeks ago – when all our lives changed -, we sent out a reminder of general precautions and new restrictions that apply on the allotment site and that are aimed at safeguarding our members.

Please remind yourselves of the details either by reading the notices that are up by the two entrance gates or on our website.

Upcoming events cancelled

These are the events that are scheduled for the next month or so: composting workshop on 19 April, ‘Have your say’ on 26 April and the plant sale on 9 May.

Given the current situation, unfortunately all three are cancelled for now. We hope to re-schedule them for later in the spring if government restrictions are eased off.

Digging up treasures

Richard Targett was digging plot 63 when he came across this piece of pottery. Richard did what we all would do and googled it.

Without going to such lengths, please guess what this pot might have contained. And it looks like it has something to do with Vienna of all places.

You can find the solution to this puzzle at the end of the newsletter.

Placing orders by email

As you will know, the trading shed is closed until further notice. Instead, we are offering an ordering system with self-collection of goods from outside the trading shed.

I am glad to report that it is doing a roaring trade. So far, we have seen turnover of around £300. The bestsellers are manure and compost, not a surprise given how attractively priced everything is and how convenient the shopping experience.

Keep ordering!

  • Order by email to or phone 07881 349101.
  • You can pay by bank transfer to Unity Trust Bank, sort code 60-83-01 account 20381877. Please use your name and plot number as reference.
  • Next, you collect your order from outside the trading shed. Talk to us to agree a suitable day for your collection.
  • We ask for a minimum spend of £10 per order and at most one order per allotment holder over the next few weeks.
  • Click here for the price list

Mediation attempt was unsuccessful

In the ongoing dispute with two former allotment members an attempt at mediation was unsuccessful. A professional mediator acted as the middleman but no agreement was found. Both parties are bound by the rules of confidence not to reveal any information that was discussed during the mediation attempt.For background, this relates to the decision in February by the two former allotment members to issue court proceedings against Pointalls Allotments. The case is ongoing and likely to be delayed by the effect of Covid 19.

Cameras installed without permission

The former plotholders who are suing Pointalls have recently installed three CCTV surveillance cameras on their rear boundary wall which adjoins our allotment site. The cameras are pointing in three directions including across the site itself.

The installation and use of CCTV surveillance cameras is not in compliance with data protection laws and infringes the rights and privacy of people whose images are captured.

We have asked for these cameras to be removed without delay. Should our request be ignored we will proceed to ask the ICO to take enforcement action against the two former plotholders.

When building on your plot

If you want to build any semi-permanent structure on your plot, this is what you need to keep in mind. The site regulations describe what sort of structures are possible under the heading ‘Sheds, greenhouses and other structures’. You can find the site regulations on the website.

Please make a formal application including a drawing, dimensions and positioning on the plot and send it to Paul Castignetti under Paul may discuss your application with you if anything is unclear before handing it to the board for a decision.

A correction

I would like to issue a correction regarding last month’s winner of the photo competition. Valli Hesper from plot 87 pointed out that the winning photo was by her, and not by Richard and Valli as I stated.  Valli also adds that her father would be proud of her, himself having been an award-winning photographer. Apologies, Valli!

New process to deal with issues

The board has been working over the winter to streamline the process that kicks in when someone does not comply with site regulations. These regulations – which you can find on the website – contain our responsibilities towards Barnet Council.

In normal circumstances, we carry out monthly site inspections. If we come across something that is contrary to rules and requirements, we would as a first step contact the plotholder in writing asking them to return to compliance within 28 days. This and the following steps are outlined in a new document that you can find on our website (from Monday onwards under tab ‘Allotment information’).

We are keen that issues that arise are handled in a way that is sensitive, amicable and fair. We are happy to receive your feedback as we know that processes are never perfect and can always be improved.

It’s marmalade

Richard’s piece of pottery used to contain Scottish marmalade of clearly superior quality. It even won a prize in Vienna in 1873. Thanks for this interesting piece of gardening treasure.

And if you want to know more, here is the story of how Dundee became the birthplace of marmalade. To this day, marmalade is made in the city. Now sold under the name Mackays.

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