26th March 2020 - The National Allotment Society have today published guidance on access to Allotments.
Covid 19 Emergency Measures
Following the instructions around movement and gatherings from the Prime Minister on 23 March 2020, we are consulting with central government but as we understand the situation at the moment it is still permitted to visit your plot, to take daily exercise on their own or with members of your household. It is vitally important that you follow all the advice about social distancing and hygiene in the points below and not gather together on site. Any plot-holder who is self isolating because a household member is ill with corona-virus should not be visiting the site. Associations should display an advice notice on their boards. It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in the water tanks and please pay attention to notice boards. It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women. We are living through a crisis, the likes of which none of us has experienced before, not since war time has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times. Members should take the following precautionary measures :
Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locks
DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart CLICK HERE for guidance
Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
Do not share tools
Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes
Do not wash your hands in water troughs
We recommend that all communal facilities are closed
Click here for guidance if you do need to clean an area that has been visited by an infected person.
Shops - those Associations who operate shops should close or put an on-line scheme in place. Where goods are ordered by email, payment is electronic and goods are placed out for collection. CLICK HERE for an example
If you have livestock on the site and must visit twice a day, take a photograph on your phone of your livestock, based on what is happening in other countries you may eventually have to print off a government form to leave the house but if challenged it would be good to be able to show a photograph of where you are going.
Plan ahead to ensure that you have food and medication delivered to you during this time
Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible
If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.
I know many Associations have taken decisions to cancel plot inspections, seed swaps, association trips and annual judging; scheduled Committee meetings and AGM’s should also be postponed. It is important that any plot-holders over 70 years and those with underlying health issues follow the guidance and information issued by the government. It would be a good idea for Associations to give out a telephone or email address for anyone with problems to allow contact. Perhaps a Buddy System that provided weeding and watering assistance on the plots of gardeners who cannot get to the plot due to long term self isolation could be set up. All group NAS meetings were cancelled following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and will be reviewed on the 30th June 2020. This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of our members, volunteers, and staff remains our number one priority. We must all consider vulnerable families, friends and fellow plot-holders and give assistance where needed. Government advice about the Coronavirus is updated on a regular basis at this link. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public For NHS information and advice CLICK HERE
As with all UK Government Guidance and regulation this guidance is subject to revision and change - please refer back to NAS website for any updates
Bonfires We have had complaints from nearby residents about smoke and pollution from bonfires. Allotment Rule 6ii clearly states that the allotment holder shall not cause annoyance to any other allotment occupier or local resident. Failure to comply with this rule could mean no more bonfires at the allotments. It is a great pity that a few thoughtless plot holders choose to ignore this rule and also leave bonfires unattended. When you leave your plot any bonfire should be extinguished.
Fly Tipping Could all members please remember to close the gate if they are the last person to leave the plots. This may help deter fly tipping. If fly tipping becomes a regular occurrence rents will have to be raised to cover the cost of removal of the offending rubbish.
Romsey Town Council, Town Hall, 1 Market Place, Romsey, Hampshire SO51 8YZ Tel: 01794 512837 | firstname.lastname@example.org