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 www.alanromans.com
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 website.www.nairnallotments.org
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.