Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further questions that have not been answered with our FAQ’s, please in the first instance, ask your site representative and secondly, if the site representative is unable to advise, submit a query using our Contact Form.  Also, if you would like advice on gardening matters, add them to the posts on our Facebook Page, and the wider community may be able to assist.


What will my allotment cost in rent and how is this payable?

Rent has been negotiated with the council and is a competitive £62/ year for a full plot (1/16th acre) and £31 for a half plot (1/32nd acre). This is payable in October for the forthcoming year. Invoices will be sent out and will include details on how to pay online. If you take on an allotment partway through the year there is a pro-rata fee to pay. There are concessions available if you are in receipt of certain benefits or pension. For more details, please contact us via the contact page.

What can I do with excess produce?

If you have too much of something which is ready to harvest, and needs to be harvested all at once, consider other ways to ensure that it doesn’t go to waste. Offer to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours; Swap with your allotment neighbours; or donate to local charity;

Some examples of these include;

Can I keep animals or bees on my plot?

There is a process and requirements for keeping livestock on your plot. Have a look at the policy on keeping livestock on the information section, and if you would like further information, have a chat with your site rep or other plot holders who already have livestock.

Worcester Allotment forum has a dedicated volunteer livestock officer who is able to answer queries surrounding keeping livestock. If you have any queries for him, please use the Contact Us now form for this to passed on. Please include your contact details and site.

Can I have a bonfire on my allotment?

In the current climate of COVID-19, it is advised that where possible a bonfire should not be lit. 

 

Bonfires can cause concern for other plot holders and allotment site neighbours, therefore we recommend you only have a bonfire if it is actually necessary, please see the WCC guidelines surrounding bonfires and ensure that you consider others when setting a bonfire and that you are aware of any wildlife that may be in the bonfire pile if it has been stood before lighting.

Where can I get good quality and reasonable priced materials for the allotment?

There are often items offered for free on local sites such as Freecycle, Freegle, Gumtree  and Nextdoor sites. Other potential sources to consider are Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Worcestershire Waste Exchange, Worcester Resource Exchange, Worcester Council Composting and the local Transition Network.

Local garden centres often have end of season clearance sales in preparation for the following year, or you can join the Worcester Allotment & Garden Association, better known as The Allotment Shop where you are able to purchase items whilst supporting a good cause. (There is a £2/year subscription to the shop) The Shop is located on the Lansdowne Road South Allotment Site; opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday & Sunday from 10:00 am to 12:00 midday. (Although in the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the allotment shop is shut)

Composting on my allotment plot?

There are many websites and books to advise what can be composted, and methods to do this, Worcester County Council have a deal with Get Composting for deals on compost bins, however there are lots of useful tips on their website too. Please bear in mind that bringing external sources of organic matter may constitute unlawful disposal. Please speak to your site rep for more guidance.

Are Slow Worms Friend or Foe?

Worcester, as a City, is known for the amount of slow worms in our green spaces. These legless lizards are completely harmless and beneficial in allotments as they eat slugs and snails. Like all lizards they heat their bodies using the warmth from the sun and will often bask under a metal sheet. If you find some of these beautiful creatures, please treat them with respect, unless necessary do not pick them up as they may shed their tails, also, as the numbers are depleting please report sightings to Worcester Wildlife trust. Further information can be found in the info sheet Slow Worms.

Can I use water from the standpipes?

The use of water from the standpipes is included in you plot rent, but please be aware that other users may need to use them.  You can use the standpipe but you can not attach a permanent hose connection; the tap should be available to all nearby allotment holders. However, it is advised that recycling rain water is a better option, as the natural water is better for plants, if you have the option to gather rainwater from a shed or greenhouse etc. look to obtain a waterbutt for your plot, these are readily available in shops and through the council. Remember the more you water the more the plants will rely on it so better to be conservative.

What role does the site representative hold?

A site representative should always be your first port of call with any queries and concerns. They are there to represent your sites views at the Worcester Allotment Forum and assist with resolving any problems on site.

In addition the Site Reps are expected to:

  • Work with and through the Forum to achieve the best Allotment Experience available for the Allotment Plotholders of Worcester.
  • To achieve the Key Objective of as near 100% let, paid for and cultivated plots on the site, as is possible, at any one time.
  • Take responsibility for monitoring their Site’s Waiting List, liaising with WCC on the letting of plots to new tenants.
  • Meet prospective new tenants on site, and show them available plots. Complete Tenancy Agreement paperwork and send to council.
  • Maintain their own plot to an acceptable standard.
  • Continually monitor condition of all plots on the site, and take corrective action if plots give cause for concern.

A more detailed account of the role is set out in the Site Rep’s Role.

How often are plots inspected?

The site representatives carry out continual surveillance of the site, and all the plots on it. In principle this comprises of a more formal inspection no less than twice a year.

Site inspections look at the state of cultivation & maintenance of the plots to confirm that the minimum Cultivation /  Inspection Guidelines are being met. These can be found by following the link above, and were set out in the Welcome Pack provided to you at the start of your tenancy.

If you have any queries concerning these Guidelines, or if you are struggling to meet these requirements, and to manage and cultivate your plot, then please get in touch with your Site Rep. for advice on how to proceed. For if they understand your circumstances they will be able to apply due consideration when carrying out an inspection.

What if there are thefts or vandalism on my plot?

If your site is unfortunate and there is vandalism or theft, please contact the police on the non-emergency line and report it, thus being given a incident number. Please then pass this incident number and details onto your site representative so that they can advise other plotholders.

How do I arrange access to the site?

When you become a tenant you will be advised of the security code to the gate to your site. Please make sure you always lock the gate to maintain site security. For your initial viewing of the site, the site representative will meet you there and advise directions if you are unfamiliar with the area.

If you have pre-approved deliveries to site, e.g. manure, then you must ensure that you are there to accept the delivery and open the gates, please do not distribute the code. If you cannot remember the details, these will also be held by the Worcestershire Hub (01905 722333) and your site representative. Should the code be changed, all plot holders will be advised of the change by WCC.

If a friend or family member is helping me, can I have a tenancy in a joint name?

Unfortunately, no. We can record a co worker on your tenancy agreement who is permitted to work your plot without your presence, however the contract is between yourself and the council. If you should give up you plot,  the Council may allocate the plot to an individual who has been a named co-worker with the named tenant. The Council will consider any such requests on a case by case basis and the Council’s decision is final. There is no charge to make someone a co-worker.

How do I notify you that I want to give up my allotment?

As the tenancy agreement is a legal document between yourself and Worcester City Council, you must notify Worcester City Council either in writing or by email at allotments@worcester.gov.uk. Worcester City Council cannot accept telephone instructions. Notification has to be given to Worcester City Council and not to the Site Representatives.

How are Allotments Allocated?

Once you have registered your interest in an allotment using the Contact Form your details are passed on to the site reps to make contact and arrange viewings of the available plots. The Allotment Allocation Policy gives more detail.