What Happens On Volunteer Days?
Come rain or shine every first Saturday of the month a group of volunteers helps us carry out essential maintenance jobs on the allotments. February's volunteer day was used to clear a neglected area of hedgerow at the Occupation Road end of the site. We cleared a section which had been taken over by a huge mile-a-minute vine. Digging out the roots and removing a massive bank of accummulated soil uncovered some treasure including old milks bottles from the Jobs Dairy on Leighton Road.
Over the following weeks Simon Coleman continued to work on this area to finish the work started by the volunteers sifting through tons of soil and removing the enormous roots of the vine. He levelled the soil and planted two rows of hawthorn whips to reinstate the original hedgerow. This was truly a labour of love and something that will hopefully be enhancing the allotments for several hundred years.
Many of our volunteer days over the winter have been used to clear decades of accummulated rubbish and rubble from vacated plots so they are 'rental ready' for the incoming tennants. This has made a really big difference to the appearance of the site and helps new plot holders hit the ground running. Since April 2018 we have filled at least 5 skips with waste materials from these plot clearances.
The main path that runs the entire length of the allotment site gets very muddy and slippery in the autumn and winter so we are trialling various methods to help water drain away easily and make the path safer. One of the jobs for the April volunteer day was to install cellular paving grids into test sections of the path and cover these with turf.
Since we began the volunteer day programme the whole site, including the hedgerow and Radbourne Walk, has been transformed after many years of neglect. We are really grateful to all of the plotholders and local residents that give up their time to help us look after our beautiful green space. If you would like to join us you will be given a warm welcome whether or not you have a plot on our site. Volunteer mornings take place from 10am to 1pm on the first Saturday of every month. We meet at main gates on Northfields Avenue next to the bus stop. We have a short break for tea and cake plus a free BBQ lunch afterwards for all volunteers to say thank-you.