Sunday, 30 January 2011

Mill Road

I had a look at the Mill Road site again today and took some photos of it, this is before work starts on it to clear the ground. There will be photos taken as the work goes on and right up to the stage where plotholders take on their new plots.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Computer recycling scheme for groups and organisations

The Society has received the following message from the Council's allotment officer:
Please see information below about a new scheme for recycling computer equipment which might be of benefit. My apologies if you’ve already seen this, but I want to make sure it’s distributed as widely as possible. Please feel free to pass it on to any groups or organiation who may benefit.

The Council has entered into a contract with Fujitsu to replace its computer equipment over a 5 year period. As part of this both organisations wish to benefit the local community by distributing 7000 PC units* over the lifetime of the project through a recycling partnership with ReBOOT. ReBOOT is a computer recycling social enterprise based in Moray and a registered charity.

Fujitsu are funding ReBOOT to provide this service and ReBOOT in turn will provide a range of training opportunities for different groups. ReBOOT are establishing a facility in Inverness to carry out this service.

It is proposed that the refurbished machines should be available to voluntary and community based organisations operating in the Highland area. This could include charities, social enterprises, community councils and clubs or groups such as Scout or Guide groups.

Should your organisation wish to be considered for one of the refurbished computers, we ask that you complete a short survey. The information that you provide will assist us in prioritising the distribution and will be used solely for this purpose. The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

The survey is available electronically on survey monkey and can be accessed at the following link:

If you are unable to complete the survey electronically or know of any organisations who may wish to be considered for this programme but are not on email, paper versions of the survey can be provided by contacting the Policy Team on 01463 702006.

The closing date for responses is Friday 25th February.

Thank you.

* One unit is either a PAT tested computer and monitor or laptop with: certificate of authenticity; anti-virus software; Open Source office programme and; a 3 month return to base warranty with ReBOOT. Additional support after 3 months will be available from ReBOOT.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Minutes Nairn Allotment Society Meeting. 19.1.11

Held at the Waverly Hotel, Nairn

1-Dick Youngson, Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Billy Milne, Des Scholes and Karen Henderson, all currently serving on the committee. Dick made reference to the sad passing of Neil Howitt- Mandy’s brother and expressed our condolences to Mandy and her family.

2-Apologies from Cathy MacGillivray, John Ferrie, David & Karen Hamilton, Scott Roberts, Jason Rose- apologies from me if I have missed any who had sent word and have been forgotten!!

3-The application for funding is with Leader+, balance from Nairn Discretionary fund has been banked. We are still waiting for the final copy of the lease, but we know the terms of the draft, cost of the site. Water costs as yet unknown- there are two sources for a system to link into. The press release regarding the project has been sent to the Nairnshire and SAGS. 90% of the funding is from Leader+, a European Rural development fund- through the Scottish Office.

Tenders were sent out to 9 local firms- and following their responses, the committee met and decided who should be awarded the contracts.

Henry Sleigh, Landscaper is our main contractor. George Smith Forres is providing the meeting room/shed. Dennis Smith ,Culcharry will complete the perimeter fencing.

Henry will clear the ground of roots, plough & rotivate the land. Dick suggested that the area should be covered in winter to prevent weed re-growth. It is years since the site was used for agricultural/horticultural purposes, but it will have very good soil. Hoes to the ready though folks!!

The site shed/meeting room has been ordered. This will be sited on hard stand once base put in.

Paths will properly constructed- there will be pedestrian/wheelchair access from the Riverside path and vehicle/wheelchair/pedestrian gates from the access road; same system of padlocks as Sandown. The access will allow trailers onto site; delivering a load of manure etc, but is not made to withstand heavy loads.

Corner areas that are not really suitable to use for allotment growing have been set aside as wetland/wildlife areas. There is a rose hedge which will be preserved.

The perimeter fence will have a buffer zone of 2m from the graveyard wall. This area will have to be kept clear of weeds and long grasses by strimming/ burning. The 2m zone should ensure no one uses the wall to jump into the allotment site. One of the Sandown allotment holders has kindly donated a heavy duty strimmer for use on all N.A.S sites. A small rotivator will also be purchased from funds. It will be essential that paths and sites are kept as weed free as possible. It is hoped that the site will be ready for transfer at the end of March.

There will be 30 plots in total- 25 @100sqm, 3 X 50sqm, 2 x 25sqm plus an area with tubs and 3 raised beds. There will be a poly-tunnel for bringing on plants and everyone will have a share in this too if desired. Small sheds may be erected on individual plots if necessary- although there will be space in the communal shed for storing tools and equipment. Water butts will be used to maximise storage of rainwater. Once the site has been cleared- all hands will be required to mark out the site. At that point individual plots can be earmarked for allocation. It is the individual responsibility of plot holders to erect internal boundary fences within the site.

4- It was decided that the way forward would be to continue having full meetings at the Waverly Hotel until such time as the site was ready for transfer. Also that the current committee continue to move the project forward until such time as a Mill Road Committee could be formed. Sandown committee would continue to manage the statutory membership & waiting lists and finances. Fair to say that all the sites will work together closely and that there will be regular meetings especially over the next 6 months or so.

5- Costs- The whole site at Mill Road will cost £350 pa. This means that plots there will be very affordable indeed. Society membership costs £10 pa per family unit. This covers the cost of membership to SAGS, the NSALG, Public Liability insurance and printing/postages. Denise at the Waverly currently charges £4 per meeting for teas and coffees (in total) - no charge for the use of the room.

As point of note- One of the many benefits of being members of SAGS & NSALG- is the Kings Seed Scheme. We are able to buy seeds directly from Kings at a much cheaper rate.

We have also this year purchased discounted seeds from Franchi Seeds of Italy, and have also made a bulk order with Alan Romans the tattie guru. Des is in the process of arranging a link from our website to Alan Romans whereby any seed/tattie sales bought via this link will generate a 5% cash-back to the Allotment society. Alan also has a very fine range of seeds starting from 50p per pkt. If you can’t wait for the link, have a look at

6- A fund has been included for training and speakers. The group was asked to consider this and put forward ideas at the next meeting. This could include visits to other sites- which could be useful to get ideas for planning your own plot. Fund can cover all aspects of horticulture.

7- As previously noted- press release to Nairny, SAGS and our own

Please make use of the website and send any articles for inclusion to our webmaster.

New up-to-date contact details were taken from all attending the meeting. Those not present will be contacted again to make sure that they still want a plot and to update e.mail addresses etc. Des urged everyone to promote the waiting list and encourage others to come on board. The more we have on the list, the more we can then agitate for more allotments in Nairn-shire.

8- The meeting concluded by payment of associate fees, teas and coffees. Meeting closed at 9pm.

Date of next meeting- 16th Feb at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mill Road allotments

Well it should not be long now before work starts on the millroad site, these will be exciting times for those on the waiting list who will get their first plot, and of all the benefits they will get from it. Not just fresh air but the knowledge that they have grown their own fruit and veg, we had a look around the site again at the weekend and there are a lot of birds in the trees around the site which is good to see, the rose hedge in front of the site is to stay as this is good cover for the birds also when it has rose hips they will provide food for them as well, and we will be planting to encourage wildlife as well.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

"Hospital and care home gardens could grow food"

"The grounds of care homes and hospitals could be used to grow fruit and vegetables to help reduce the amount of produce transported from miles away.

Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) has been looking for park residents to register their interest in growing produce in allotments.

It said Highland Council had looked at the potential of also using care homes and hospital gardens in the area."

More on the BBC site.

It's an interesting idea and good to know that the Highland Council are taking provision of allotments seriously. Meanwhile locally, have you got any spare land in Nairnshire that would be suitable for allotments? Contact Nairn Allotment Society if you have.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Plot Rules & Regs

Here's a copy of the Society's Allotment rules, everyone gets a copy when signing up for a plot with the society but the committee thought it would be a good thing to put a copy up on line too.

1) Each allotment plot shall be let on a yearly basis beginning on 1st January annually or at other times on initial allocation.

2. The land shall be let at such rents may from time to time be determined by the membership at a general meeting. Notice of any variation in rents will be deemed to have been served upon allotment holders by means of the posting of a notice at the entrance to the allotment site not less than four weeks prior to the date the variation takes effect.

3. Membership of Nairn Allotment Society is compulsory for allotment holders and is at acceptance of tenancy and renewable annually on the 1st of January payable with plot rent.

4. All rents fall due on 1st of January and shall be paid within one calendar month of that day and the tenancy of the allotment shall, unless otherwise agreed in writing, terminate one month after the death of the tenant. Tenancy of the allotment may be terminated by either party, given good reason, at anytime giving the other, one calendar months notice in writing.

5. Any notice, other than the notice in Rule 2, may be served on the tenant either personally, or by leaving it at their last known place of abode or by registered letter to that place or by fixing of the notice in a conspicuous place upon their allotment.

6. Allotments must only be used for cultivation and horticultural uses only.

7. Allotments must not be used or occupied for business purposes.

8. No turf, soil, aggregates or timber must be sold or removed from the allotment site.

9. Every allotment holder shall weed and sufficiently manure and cultivate their allotment to keep up appearances and fertility of the site.

10. Allotment holders must take reasonable care to ensure boundary fences, gates, roadways, standpipes and other fittings provided for security and welfare remain undamaged.

11. No building or other structure may be erected on allotments or within the site without prior notification and approval of the trustees and must be

a) of a temporary nature, and b) for horticultural purposes only.

12. No allotment holder shall let or sub-let or assign their allotment or any part thereof, as procedures to split and reallocate allotments are in place.

13. Allotments are to be clearly defined and marked with the plot number at the front of the plot.

14. No allotment holder will deposit or allow rubbish or refuse to accumulate or remain on their plot or roadways.

15. Allotment holders must ensure any dogs brought onto the site are on a leash and are controlled.

16. Allotment holders motor vehicles brought onto the site are to be driven at walking pace and parked only in the car park. Any large vehicle access must be cleared with the committee before entering the site.

17. Allotment holders shall only be permitted access to the site through the locked entrance gate. Every allotment holder shall be issued with one key on the payment of a refundable deposit, returned when the key is surrendered on termination of tenancy for whatever reason.

18. Tenants persistently breaching any of these rules or found not upholding the objectives of the society as laid down in the constitution, or moving out with the immediate area may be liable to forfeit their tenancy. This notwithstanding the right of appeal to the membership in writing through the Chairman.

19. The Society may, with agreement of the plot holders, amend the size and orientation of both vacant and tenanted plots on the site to best utilise land to requirements, and make allowances to enter into special arrangements with allotment holders where necessary.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Weds 19th Jan meeting concerning Mill Road


The funding has been approved and the contractors have been selected and notified.
The committee would ask that everyone on the waiting list receiving this letter attends our meeting.

We will be discussing and setting up a working committee to organise the work to be carried out and to liaise with the contractors.
It is essential that everyone attends as Mill Road is for your benefit and the sooner we get started, the sooner you can start growing. The work will progress very quickly once we have a start date.

The meeting will also give the opportunity to meet everyone and to discuss plot rules and agreements with the society representatives.

Associate member fees of £5 will also be collected at this time.

Should you require any further information please contact either
Dick Youngson- Chair- 454785 or
Karen Henderson- Treasurer- 453747
The meeting will also be open to Sandown members and anyone else with an interest in promoting allotments in Nairnshire.

Thank you for your kind attention, we look forward to seeing you on the 19th Jan.

Amanda MacKenzie

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

First seeds are sown

On sundayI did my first seeds, these were onions. I am starting them in our small propagator after they come off the propagator they will be going in the greenhouse and then a case of potting them on till they are ready to be planted out in their beds. Over the last few days the ground has thawed out so we will be able to do some of the digging. We will need to sort out some manure as well, we have horse manure at the site but a lot of this is quite fresh and i would like to leave this to rot down for some time yet. I am still waiting for some tatties and some more seeds also onion sets and shallots we are going to do some shallots from seed as have done them before this and if you do them from seed you only get one bulb they will be the next seed to be sown as their enough room left in the propagator for them.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

happy new year

Its 2011 so happy new year folks, have a great growing year when it starts all the best from Nairn Allotment Society