It is important to remember that our renting of the site is dependent on minimal use of the track by car or lorry. Vehicular access, therefore, is strongly discouraged, although occasional use is necessary for the delivery of heavy materials. We are asked to record this so please fill in the journey log held in the communal shed. See also ‘Bollard’ below.
Check out Balfron Household Waste Recycling Centre for free black compost bins (two only per household) – as well as where to dump rubbish. Based at Dunkeld Court, Balfron G63 0TE (approach through the Co-op car park) Opening Hours (all year): Mon-Fri: 17:00 – 20:00 / Sat: 10:00-14:00 / Sun: closed (Reward yourself after visiting the tip by having a coffee at Doyle’s on the Main Street in Balfron. Recommended!)
While vehicular access is strongly discouraged, occasional use is necessary for the delivery of heavy materials. For this you need a key to the bollard at path leading from Park Place. Most Committee members have a copy. Please give them reasonable notice if you need to collect a key to gain access along the track as last minute requests can make things difficult for the keyholder. Remember to replace the bollard and close the padlock when you enter or exit. And don’t forget to complete the journey log too (see Access above).
The following books belonging to us are normally held in the Strathblane Library, however, until the new libray has been constructed, they care currently being looked after by the committee. Please make any request to borrow either by email, or asking Carol.
- The Garden Organic Book on Compost
- Local Food: Tamzin Pinkerton & Robert Hopkins
- Climate change – carbon conversions: Rosemary Randall
- Allotments through the Year : Dorling Kindersley (presented to us on the opening in June 2012 by Lady Julia Edmonstone)
- The Red Mason Bee: Christopher O’Toole
- About Bumble Bees: Bumblebee Conservation Trust
- Mulch Magic – secrets for making and using compost and mulch in your garden.
The small communal shed is for the storage of communal equipment (see below) and for those without their own sheds to store tools. Best to name your tools to avoid them being confused with the communally owned ones which have bronze tape on them. You will also find a first aid box, and the journey log/car usage list is in the key box in there. The large green cabin is for rainy days, group meetings, and many other things. It isn’t for storing anything. Information displayed there includes a copy of the Rules, a note on our limited insurance cover, contact details of Committee members.
These include wheelbarrows, a rotovator, a strimmer, a mower, and various other bits and pieces, some held in the Small Shed and usually identified by a band of bronze tape. Do make sure anything you borrow isn’t personally owned, in which case it should have a name attached. Check everything is returned clean and in good condition – nothing broken or nuts missing. Let any Committee member know if you are concerned.
Most plots have their own bins for compost (see ‘Balfron’ above), but there are also some black bins for communal use. At the moment, they’re used only for weeds removed from the communal areas but this is something that’s still to be developed. Please don’t use them for your own weeds and certainly don’t dispose of invasive or perennial weeds or any non-compostable stuff. If you wish a compost bin for your own plot please take one from behind the shed.
We’ve benefited a lot from free gifts and others’ rejects, and appreciate it. But we must now say that, if you have anything you’d like to offer the allotments, please check in advance with the Committee. Not everything is useful; if it needs constant attention, we have enough to look after already; and we have no storage space.
Please don’t stop being generous, just speak to us first.
The site suffers from poor drainage, especially in winter. Bruce holds a master plan, showing all current drains. Do consult with him before digging any new ones as he can advise on the best location and method and show where you can connect into an existing drain outlet.
As the site has no specific postcode, you will find a description of access to the site on the notice board at the gate to relay to any ambulance or other emergency vehicle. Remember the bollard will need to be unlocked for them too. If necessary contact any Committee member. Emergency contact numbers are on the outer side of the notice board at the gate as well as in the Big Shed.
Photos, comments and advice can be posted on the BVAA group on Facebook. After signing up and logging on to Facebook, search for our group by entering all four words -Blane Valley Allotments Association – and request to join. The administrator will approve joining for allotment members.
There is a first aid box in the communal shed. Please replace anything you use or advise a committee member that the box is now short.
Grass cutting of the large areas is done by a rota of members, which you’re invited to join as it’s a task that should be shared by everyone. Contact the Secretary and you will be given a training session on the use of the mower.
We have insurance cover for basic public liability only, so it’s not for personal cover, nor for possessions. The kind of thing it does cover is if someone working on the plots chooses to sue us for an accident due to our negligence. More detail, should you need it, from the Treasurer, or read the sheet pinned up in the Big Shed. Keys The gate key fits both the main gate and the small back gate. Please make sure you return the key, should you give up your allotment. Most Committee members have a copy of the bollard key. Please give them reasonable notice if you need to collect a key to gain access along the track.
We have an annual delivery of manure from a local farm, paid for out of BVAA funds. It’s dumped in the parking area and is available for everyone to use. Please help yourself. If you use one of the communal wheelbarrows, make sure you leave it clean afterwards.
The Committee meets approximately monthly. Minutes of these are published on our website. The AGM is held at the end of October and reports on the past year’s activities, achievements and finances as well as appointing committee members and for dealing with any proposed amendments to the Constitution and Rules. A spring meeting is held at the allotments in April and is a forum for members to discuss the coming year, any changes to the Rules or raise anything of interest to everyone. It’s a useful opportunity to voice your opinion as well as meet everyone else and for any surplus plants or seeds swaps. Work days, to which all members are expected to contribute, are organized throughout the summer. If you’re unable to take part on the specified days, you will be expected to undertake something similar at a time that suits. (See ‘Site Maintenance’ below) We hold an annual Open Day for the rest of the village to have a closer look at our plots. Social events are also held throughout the year.
To keep everyone in touch with news and current events, a newsletter is delivered to plotholders every two months or so. If you’d like anything included contact the Secretary.
Plot inspections take place twice a year (see Rule 19) and the dates are advertised well in advance. These are undertaken by a team of three, comprising two committee members and one other plotholder. This is to allow us to assess the condition of allotments and ensure that all plots are being worked and are safe and secure. Rules 4, 5 and 6 refer to the expected standards but further criteria may be circulated later. Should your plot repeatedly be considered unsatisfactory, we would ask for the reason and try and solve any problem with you. If you are unable to improve your plot, you may be asked to step aside.
Often the answer to any query is in the Rules. But if not, speak to any committee member (contact details in the Big Shed) if you’re in doubt about anything. If you can’t find your copy of the Rules, there’s a large copy of them displayed in the Big Shed (and are also available on the website). No excuses.
Rabbit can be a problem on the site. Please keep the main gate closed at all times. For those who have a plot on the perimeter please check the fence and keep an eye out for any holes anywhere else and secure it as best you can and advise the Committee.
The ramp has been fenced off to stop rabbits hiding there.
Sheds and Other Structures
Should you want to erect a shed or other structure on your plot, please check first with the committee as there are controls on size and direction. The colour should preferably be brown to blend in with the landscape as it can be seen from the top of the hill and the community has objected to us being too visible.
Please remember that everyone has the responsibility for the upkeep, general maintenance and appearance of the site, not just their own plot, as the allotments are a feature of the community and easily viewed by passersby. (see ‘Grass cutting’ above) Work days, to which all members are expected to contribute, are organized monthly throughout the growing season. A list is produced for each work day and If you’re unable to take part on the specified days, you will be expected to undertake something from the list at a time that suits. Please advise a Committee member when you do, in order that you can be credited with the work.
So far our social activities include meeting in a local pub/hotel one evening in January. Barbecues are weather dependant and therefore at short notice. Bonfires are organised with a Committee member in attendance as required. An email or Newsletter will announce dates.
Our Lease states that only fruit trees on dwarf (including semi-dwarf) rooting stock may be planted. Remember that trees grow and avoid the possibility of branches blocking pathways or neighbours after a year or two.
There are two taps on the site fed from the water tank. Hoses are kept in the small communal shed and these can be used to fill up your water butts on your own plot.
The winter wind is extremely strong and has previously blown away greenhouses and collapsed sheds. Please take account of this and take any action to prevent this. Have a look at neighbouring structures for their measures. Make sure nothing can be blown about which might break any greenhouse glass. Emptying your water butt can be useful too, as, should the winter be icy cold, the water can freeze and split the butt. Mind you, it then becomes a useful cover for forcing rhubarb. Drainage on the site is a problem that we are working on continuously. Wellies are obligatory in winter. Should the cold freeze the gate padlock, try warming it in your hands for a minute or two. The key should turn after that. If there is a problem with the padlock please let a Committee member know.