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Welcome to the Wellesbourne Allotments Association Website


June 2018 Position statement

On 21 May 2018, Diocesan Secretary Ruth Marlow informed us the Glebe Committee would be meeting later that week and would be discussing the allotments and in particular whether to sell options to develop on half the Allotment Association plots while offering us adjoining farmland (part of which is flood plain) together with some as yet unspecified security of tenure.
Ruth Marlow also responded to an enquiry whether the Diocese would sell the freehold of the current site to the Allotment Association at agricultural value:
On 25 May Ruth Marlow duly reported back from the meeting of the Glebe Committee stating: “…..members consider the request from the allotment holders association to purchase the existing allotment site at agricultural land values. After careful consideration of this request I regret to inform you that it was rejected by the committee. As you are aware it is the Glebe Committee’s responsibility to consider the management of diocesan glebe land in the long term interest of the beneficiaries of the Diocesan Stipend Glebe fund, members considered that the disposal of the freehold of the existing site was not in the long term best interest of the fund beneficiaries.
…… the DBF wish to find a way forward that would both meet the trustees responsibilities and respond to the wishes of the allotment holders. To this end work is continuing on the possibility of extending the allotments onto land at the rear of the existing site and reviewing the security of tenure of for allotment holders of a site made up of part of the existing site and the new extension in the event of the diocese disposing of land to the front of the current site. The committee continue to work on the details of this proposal and I will let you know when I have more information to share on this matter.”
So far we have still have received no detailed written plans on this idea and details are scant. There is no information as to boundaries or area sizes and no specific information about an offer of security of tenure. We continue to pursue the Diocese for clear and full written details of their proposals as requested by our members at the 2018 AGM.

Looking back …

On 15 February 2018 the Wellesbourne Allotment Association Committee met with Diocesan Secretary Ruth Marlow and Acting Archdeacon Clive Hogger from Coventry Diocese, at their request, to hear a proposal they wished to put to us. They told us they understood the need for the Allotment community to be on one location and appreciated the value of the allotments to the community. However, they said they would still like to pursue options with developers on up to half the allotment area. In return for an unspecified form of security of tenure for the future, they proposed incorporating land immediately behind the allotments into the remaining allotment site.
We reported on this meeting at our AGM on February 28 and opened the AGM meeting for debate/clarification. The overwhelming feeling of members was that they wished to remain on the existing land. Understandably, to be able to make an informed decision they would need to see the proposals in writing.
We wrote back to the Diocese relaying the meeting decisions and on 27 March received a response from Ruth Marlow, Diocesan Secretary, stated the following, that there was, “nothing more I can add to what we have already suggested to your management committee. Any changes to the tenure of the proposed new allotment site assumes disposal of a proportion of the existing site for development, which itself is linked to planning permission. However I will discuss your response with the Glebe Committee members and if we can add anything more will get back to you in due course.”
We are therefore left in limbo with no timescales for any meaningful proposals in writing that can be put to members. We hope the consultation on 15 February with the Diocese was not a mere tick-box exercise.
In the meantime, planting is well underway as our allotment community continues to grow. We are welcoming a number of new faces onto the allotments this year. We have a short waiting list for allotments and as a committee we firmly believe that we will still be sowing and reaping on the site for many years to come. If you wish to put your name down for an allotment please contact us at lettings@wellesbourneallotments.co.uk.

 

 

Allotment NGS Open Day

To find the allotments, please use the following address:

Kineton Road
Wellesbourne
WARWICK
CV35 9NE

Or follow this link for Google Street View & Maps

NGS 2018

Click here to download the poster

 

WAA and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

On the 25th May 2018, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act becomes law in the UK and all personal data being held by entities (businesses, government, charities, organisations etc.) must be minimal for purpose of use, managed to ensure it is being processed correctly, protected from misuse and held in full accordance with your knowledge. WAA is no exception and the committee is cascading a communication to explain what data we hold about our plot holders and state our commitment to how we will manage your data (termed data processing). To view the statement please follow this link.

 

Wanted! Strong volunteers 19-20 May for Dementia Friendly plot build


A huge thanks to Chris Meek of CM Plant Hire, Stratford on Avon, who answered our DIY SOS-style call to help create a Dementia Friendly Allotment – one of just a handful in the country!


He will be bringing a mini digger on site and preparing the ground, so now we need a team of strong volunteers over the weekend of 19-20 May to help us lay the 250 paving slabs which will form the basis of the design for this allotment!
It you can help, please let Ken Manning at treasurer@wellesbourneallotments.co.uk know!


We have also had donations towards trees and a seat for the site, but still need help to purchase raised beds, compost, plants and other equipment.


Grants from Wellesbourne Parish Council and Stratford District Council totalling £2,580 have paid for the slabs and for a shed which will also be erected on site.


Wellesbourne Allotment Association Treasurer Ken Manning says: “Most of us will know someone living with dementia. Wellesbourne is becoming a Dementia Friendly Community and we are delighted to be working with Heather Brown and the Oscars team to develop an allotment specifically designed to be used by people living with dementia and their families and carers.”


Oscars (Over Sixties Community and Recreation Scheme) co-ordinator Heather Brown says: “This is a great project which will enable people living with dementia to continue using and enjoying their gardening skills. The fact that the plot is being designed to be wheelchair and dementia friendly by incorporating features such as raised beds and shaded seating is important in providing an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and socialise in a safe environment. The plot will bring much pleasure, and we hope become a well-used facility within the community.”


Oscars are currently looking for a volunteer to liaise with carers and to help co-ordinate the day to day running of the scheme. If you are interested in volunteering to help co-ordinate the scheme please contact Heather Brown on 01789 841419.

 

April 2018 Position statement

On 15 February 2018 the Wellesbourne Allotment Association Committee met with Diocesan Secretary Ruth Marlow and Acting Archdeacon Clive Hogger from Coventry Diocese, at their request, to hear a proposal they wished to put to us. They told us they understood the need for the Allotment community to be on one location and appreciated the value of the allotments to the community.  However, they said they would still like to pursue options with developers on up to half the allotment area. In return for an unspecified form of security of tenure for the future, they proposed incorporating land immediately behind the allotments into the remaining allotment site.


We have received no plans or proposals in writing and details are scant. There is no information as to boundaries or area sizes and no specific information about an offer of security of tenure. We reported on this meeting at our AGM on February 28 and opened the AGM meeting for debate/clarification. The overwhelming feeling of members was that they wished to remain on the existing land. Understandably, to be able to make an informed decision they would need to see the proposals in writing.

We wrote back to the Diocese relaying the meeting decisions and on 27 March received a response from Ruth Marlow, Diocesan Secretary, stated the following, that there was, “nothing more I can add to what we have already suggested to your management committee. Any changes to the tenure of the proposed new allotment site assumes disposal of a proportion of the existing site for development, which itself is linked to planning permission. However I will discuss your response with the Glebe Committee members and if we can add anything more will get back to you in due course.”

We are therefore left in limbo with no timescales for any meaningful proposals in writing that can be put to members. We hope the consultation on 15 February with the Diocese was not a mere tick-box exercise. We will wait and see if the Glebe Committee comes forward with any meaningful proposals and we are ready to respond accordingly.


In the meantime, planting is well underway as our allotment community continues to grow. We are welcoming a number of new faces onto the allotments this year. We have a short waiting list for allotments and as a committee we firmly believe that we will still be sowing and reaping on the site for many years to come. If you wish to put your name down for an allotment please contact us at lettings@wellesbourneallotments.co.uk.

 

DIY SOS Call for Allotment Dementia Plot

Dementia Plot with Ken Manning & Heather Brown

Pictured: Ken Manning and Heather Brown

Wellesbourne Allotment Association is appealing to local landscapers and builders to help bring about a DIY SOS-style transformation to create a Dementia Friendly Allotment – one of just a handful in the country!

The call comes after confirmation of grants from Stratford District Council and from Wellesbourne Parish Council totalling £2,580. The monies will be used to fund the basic landscaping of a plot on Wellesbourne Allotments on the Kineton Road, including the purchase of essential paving slabs and a large wooden shed, but more help is needed to transform the plot over a single weekend!

There is also an appeal for an arbor style seat, for gardening tools for dementia plot users and for plants and compost.

Wellesbourne Allotment Association Treasurer Ken Manning says: “Most of us will know someone living with dementia. Wellesbourne is becoming a Dementia Friendly Community and we are delighted to be working with Heather Brown and the Oscars team to develop an allotment specifically designed to be used by people living with dementia and their families and carers. 

“We are very grateful for the support shown by the District Council and by the Parish Council. We hope a local task force will be able to transform the plot in time for this year’s growing season and help to bring joy to users throughout the year.”

Anyone able to give their time, or to donate materials or gardening equipment should contact Ken Manning at treasurer@wellesbourneallotments.co.uk

Oscars (Over Sixties Community and Recreation Scheme ) co-ordinator Heather Brown says: “This is a great project which will enable people living with dementia to continue using and enjoying their gardening skills. The fact that the plot is being designed to be wheelchair and dementia friendly by incorporating features such as raised beds and shaded seating is important in providing an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and socialise in a safe environment. The plot will bring much pleasure, and we hope become a well-used facility within the community.”

Oscars are currently looking for a volunteer to liaise with carers and to help co-ordinate the day to day running of the scheme. If you are interested in volunteering to help co-ordinate the scheme please contact Heather Brown on 01789 841419.

 

 

 

Poppy Grace Bates' winning SOWA Logo

 

Allotment Facebook page Allotment twitter feed

**STOP PRESS**

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE DIOCESE OF COVENTRY

Wednesday 31st January 2018

Coventry Diocese has over the past decade made many threats to build houses on our Wellesbourne Allotments which been here on this site since 1840. Each time the strength of public opinion and the severe damage caused to the Churches reputation has stopped them from submitting formal planning proposals. We have a 3,000 strong petition calling for the Coventry Diocese to cease their housing development plans which would devastate our community.


We now understand that because of the strength of local opposition, they wish to re-negotiate with us a new development proposal. Click here to view the communication to the Wellesbourne Allotment chairman Ian Hope.


We strongly feel the Diocese continues to misunderstood the strength of local feeling about the destruction of our Allotments as well as to more housing in the village
It seems to us that the temptation to maximise the Church assets regardless of the human cost has a vice-like grip over Coventry Diocese. Yet another example of what happens when those responsible for managing the Church of England assets go unregulated and unchecked by Church Spiritual leaders. The Church of England stands to make millions out of sale of our allotment land. Land they have never paid a penny for, land that was gifted into their care during the Wellesbourne Enclosure Act in 1733. This first record of allotments here was in 1840, making these one of the oldest allotments in the UK.


Most who hear our story cannot believe that the Church is prepared to be so ruthless & sell our allotments to property developers. Most do not think this type of action is compatible with the values & principles of The Church. We think there is not one Christian in Midlands, from the Bishop down, who supports the devastation of our allotment community for housing.
Church of England makes £1.3bn a year, more than McDonalds & 3 x that of Starbucks, and has a £7.6bn investment fund which returns an enviable 17.1% growth per year, making the Church the 16th richest Charity in the world.


In 2014, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury recognised there was a huge ethical problem when it came to how it the Church went about maximising profits from its assets & committed himself to stopping unethical practices within The Church . He said the Church of England “…had to be more consistent between what we say and what we do,” he also added…….”but these things happen”.


Is this proposal by Coventry Diocese just another one of those 'unethical' things that happens in the name of the Church when its Spiritual leaders do not lead? They should read their own Ethical Investment Policy which dictates Church of England’s asset management" should be compatible with Christian Values"
Coventry Diocese has continually stated that as a Charity they have 2 obligations according to the Charity Commission Guidelines; to support the mission of the Church & to make best use of their assets to support that mission.


However the Charity Commission also states a Charity also has a 3rd obligation. To be a Charity your mission should also be for the public benefit. Any action which benefits the charity must not outweigh the detrimental or harmful effects its action causes to people, property & environment.


Putting housing here on our allotment land will without doubt significantly harm the people of Wellesbourne & its environment.


However, if Coventry Diocese say they need money they can raise cash from the sale of other land they own in this area.  Why single out our allotment land - as one of the few remaining valued community assets in Wellesbourne it is the jewel in the crown of the village. Wellesbourne is growing rapidly at the moment will a huge amount of new housing estates. Wellesbourne needs more community facilities like the Allotments not less.

Since the news about the plans by the Diocese of Coventry to sell the land to developers, with 50 houses being earmarked for the site, a campaign has stsarted by the allotment association.

The new campaign website is sowa.org.uk

All the local and national press, SOWA's press releases, news and information about the situation will be managed and updated there. You can also contact the association's campaign committee by email following the contact link on that site.

If you are a member of the press or media and wish to speak to the association regards information or interviews, please email media@sowa.org.uk

Many thanks for visiting our page and we hope that you will support our campaign to protect the community asset.

Wellesbourne Allotments on BBC Ra dio 4 Gardener's Question Time

Christine Walkden on site

Wellesbourne Allotment Association were one of the seven groups who invited and hosted BBC Radio 4 GQT in February 2015. The expert Christine Walkden and producer Howard Shannon came to the site and interviewed about a dozen group members, talking about the history, development risk and also answering problems we face on the spot.

The broadcast was made on Friday March 6th, repeated on Sunday 8th March 2015. A second recording made on the same evening is being broadcast on April 17th, repeated on Sunday 19th. The panel were Christine Walkden, Pippa Greenwood and Chris Beardshaw, with chairman Eric Robson. Producer was Howard Shannon, assistant producer was Hannah Newton.

See more images from the event here


Pest Alert

We've got Alium Leaf Miner on site and you may have noticed already that your leeks/onions etc have been attacked by them.  Frankly, pull up affected produce and safely destroy them.  You can protect future crops with fine mesh coverings, and you may be OK for this season depending where on the site your plot is, but do check carefully before before you net them in.

Information about the beast can be found here on the Royal Horticultural Society website.


"Winter Colour & Interest in the Garden"

An illustrated talk by Duncan Coombs (lecturer @ Pershore College).

Hosted by Wellesbourne & Walton Horticultural Society

Friday 18th October 2013 @ 7.45 p.m.
Wellesbourne Village Hall
Tickets £5  Please make contact for tickets first...details on this PDF flyer (should automatically open when you click the link)


Site Security

News of more breaks and thefts continue to roll in periodically, with scrumping of our produce being one of the latest reports.  It is important that you lock the site gates consistently and be vigilant for anything untoward....

It is our collective responsibility to manage the site security, and report issues to the police to ensure action will be taken in the future.

Click here for the Safety & Security pages

 


The Association Goes Electronic!

As we explore new ways to engage with plot holders and reduce cost, we can now send all communications to plot holders via emails if they prefer.  This saves paper, reduces the time taken for committee members and delivering letters, and saves the modest printing costs.  If you would like to enrol for email communications, please contact the Association Secretary requesting email over paper. And if you do, remember to tell us should you ever change your mail address! 

As well as the new website and email facility, the Allotments Association now has a new Facebook page and Twitter feed.  Whilst we acknowledge such new fangled things are not for everyone, they do provide an important and friendly platform for allotment holders and like-minded people to communicate, share knowledge, share seeds, produce and plants, and ultimately build friendships.  We hope you join us on the new forums!