Having just read through the Government advice on the lockdown criteria we believe that both our sites can remain open to provide members with the opportunity for exercise. However, the following would seem to be the conditions under which we will operate:
- No congregations greater than two people (from the same household)
- Do not get any closer to anyone else than 2 metres (6 feet) under any circumstances
- Coffee mornings are off for the moment – classed as a communal activity and therefore not permitted
- The shop may be allowed to continue opening on Sunday mornings but we will need to give more thought to queue control, access to stock and payment methods
Please observe these conditions. The most recent news posts confirm that the Police will be checking to make sure that the public are observing them and if they suspect that they are not then we could be compelled to close the sites – just when all of us are gearing up for the growing season!
Be considerate – the introduced measures are there not just to protect you but also those you hold dearest; friends and family.
Emails: we propose not to deluge you with email updates (it takes the Secretary seven separate emails to get a message out) but will instead be using this website as a primary way of communicating with members. Please – if you haven’t already done it, can you bookmark this page and check back regularly for updates. Do also let other members know the website exists (but from 2 metres distance!)
Best wishes & stay safe
Nick (Association Secretary)
The National Allotment Society have published this advice on March 20th :
Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and the ongoing situation with COVID-19, all group NAS meetings have been cancelled with immediate effect 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.
Many Associations have taken decisions to cancel plot inspections, seed swaps, association trips, annual judging, scheduled Committee meetings/AGM’s should also be postponed. It is important that any plotholders over 70 years with underlying health issues follow the guidance and information issued by the government. It would be a good idea for Associations to give a telephone or email address for anyone with problems to allow contact.
It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash your 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 unauthorised 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 to the Secretary. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70 or with underlying illness issues or is pregnant.
We are living through a crisis the likes of which none of us has experienced before, never before since war time, has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important. Please remember to and 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
- Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
- Do not share tools
- Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes
- Do not wash your hands in water troughs
- 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.
Those Association who operate shops will have to consider what action to take, whether to close totally, allow only one person in at a time, currently accepting cash is not a good idea. 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
The government should support members of allotment associations having continued access to their plots where allotment committees have published Covid19 protection procedures. Allotment gardening and produce are an important part of many people’s support system and contribute to their income, pension, and mental and physical fitness as well as a valuable support to people on low and fixed incomes.