Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Seaweed for those that haven't made it to the beach yet

One of the plotters is always getting asked about seaweed, he collects from the beach and also buys it in for use on his plot. He reports that this site has a special offer on deliveries for December. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

I  have  added two  more  links  on  to  our  website one  is  for  our  local  garden  club  and  the  other  is  for  the  keeping  Nairnshire  colourful  group  who  have   been  busy planting  bulbs around  our  town perhaps  you  could  help  them  please   check  out  their  website for  details on  what  they  are  doing and what  they  have  done  in  the  past,  the  group  have  one  of  the  new  beds  at  Sandown  which  will  be  used to  bring  plants  on  for  use   around  the  town.  our  local  garden  club welcomes  new  members why  not  take  a  look  at  their  site  again  you  will  see  what  they  have  done  in  the  past  and  they  would  like  to  do  for  the  future.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Society Orchard Group plants some apple trees

A cold but sunny day up at Sandown as the Orchard group got stuck into digging a few holes and planting up the first batch of trees. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

LUGGS group visit Nairn Allotments

West Coast plotters from the Ullapool area were in town on Saturday. Prior to attending the John Hancox lecture they toured Sandown and Mill Road. Their impressions of the visit are available in their latest newsletter. Copy available here. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Large blue drums wanted for plotters

Has anyone got access to the large blue drums that are used in many industries and then often just sent to landfill after use?
There are a few plotters including myself who are after some. If you can help please email Many thanks

Saturday, 27 October 2012

An evening organised by Nairn Allotment Society in the Community Centre on Saturday November the 10th - Starting 7.30 p.m

"Orchards for the 21st Century". John Hancox of Scottish Orchards will be in Nairn to give a talk in the Community Centre on the 10th of November. More information in the video or on this leaflet here. 

Window in the weather enables the orchard group to lift tatties

It was too late for the orchard group at the Sandown plots to get trees in earlier this year when the new allotments finally opened so they opted for a crop of tatties in the interim. This morning as the weather improved slightly they got down to it and lifted the crop. Mansell volunteered with his tractor and equipment and saved the plotters a few hours back-breaking work.  

Friday, 26 October 2012

Up to 30% off seeds and sundries to NAS plotters

Garden Organic (formerly the Henry Doubleday Research Association), the UK's leading organic growing charity, is offering up to 30% discount on their products if Nairn Allotment Society orders as a group. To qualify for the maximum discount we have to spend over £200 – and as 2 NAS members are planning to place orders totaling over £100, we are more than halfway there already!

NAS members are not required to join Garden Organics to enjoy the discounts if we order as a group, but you are free to do so if you wish (well worth joining, if only for their informative newsletters and free organic gardening advice).

The discounts aren’t blanket throughout the catalogue so please read the details listed below (and please keep this email to refer back to if you decide to order).

Garden Organic catalogues can be collected from the communal shed at Mill Road (shelf on the left) and from the compost toilet at Sandown. The catalogues well worth a look, with a huge range of seeds, seed potatoes, bulbs, pest and weed control, equipment and books.

Order forms are in the centre of the catalogue. When you’re ready to order please remove the form and fill in your details (include your plot number).  Payment should be to Nairn Allotment Society. Once the orders have been processed Garden Organics will apply the discounts and NAS will issue you a cheque/payment for your discount

Please return completed order forms no later than 6 January 2013 to Jules , who is coordinating this order for NAS members’
He is at plot 6 Mill Road, or plot 28 Sandown, or post/deliver to 65 Society St, Nairn. IV12 4NL
(Don't send your form direct to Garden Organics yourself or you won’t receive the group discount!)

Many thanks 

Group Order Discounts

The following discounts are applicable when our order value reaches £200.00:

Packet seeds                                30%
Onion sets, shallots and garlic    30%
Organic fertilisers and QR           30%
Potatoes                                        15%
Books, composts, and sundries    15%

Exclusions from Group Order (i.e. the following cannot be included with your order):

• All fruit and plants including organic vegetable and herb plants (page 55) comfrey, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus crowns, rhubarb crowns, sweet potato slips, horseradish, chamomile.
• All biological controls.
• Any item marked in the catalogue ‘direct from manufacturer/supplier’

Monday, 15 October 2012

Orchards - could you grow a fruit tree or two?

The Orchard group will soon be planting the first of a selection of trees (including Scottish Heritage varieties) in their Sandown plot. Plotters should feel free to pop down for a look and a chat every time they see some activity down the bottom end of the new plots. The group are trying to encourage more people to plant fruit trees in Nairnshire and if you have any space perhaps you might want to consider a fruit tree or two? Maybe you might not be a plotter but someone who has a piece of land suitable for an orchard. If you are interested in planting fruit trees why not come to the Society's meeting on November 10th when John Hancox of Scottish Orchards will be giving a lecture in the Community Centre. 

Recently the  chair of the Orchard Group had the pleasure of visiting an apple fair and  an orchard whilst in Normandy. The local cider on sale at the fair tasted good. You could taste the apples, meet the farmer and sample his Brut or Demi-sec. The folk on the stall even wanted you to try the exotic foreign dish they'd made for the occasion "apple crumble".

At the Orchard it was interesting to see many of the older trees with a massive distance between them. This is the traditional Normanday way to enable grazing in the orchards. It makes sense really to multi task your land and allow beasts to roam underneath the trees, the creatures must enjoy windfalls too. Newer trees were planted much closer together however, and this was to enable the machines to collect the apples easier according to one of the employees. We saw trailer loads of apples heading for the press but didn't see any of the machines in action. The whole Orchard area seemed to be about the same size as the Sandown Lands.  Some of the trees were very heavy with apples and I asked if it had been a good harvest. It was sort of "so-so" I was told and I explained the disaster locally in Nairnshire after the damp cold spring rotted the blossom.  Here's a few pictures of the apple fair and the orchard.

The Highlands and islands Growers - Horticultural Day on November 14th

The Highlands and islands Growers are running their annual Horticultural Day on November 14th, in the Community Centre, Nairn.  9.30 for welcome and coffee.  They have 5 interesting speakers this year and the first one will start at 10.

Lunch will be provided.  Tickets for the day are available from Ross Dalziel  01309 672597  £25 including lunch; (special £10 student rate without lunch)

New for this year they are having a photographic competition: ‘My Favourite Garden Scene’ - they are hoping for lots of entries which will be judged on the day.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Scottish Heritage Fruit Trees available to plotters

The Orchard group will be purchasing around 20 heritage varieties From John Hancox when he comes to give a talk on November 10th. This gives an opportunity for other plotters to buy a tree or two if they wish. 
Details of the comprehensive list of trees are available here on the  Commonwealth Heritage & Scottish Fruit Trees site. Click the "for sale" tab and a Word Document list will open up. Simply contact John via tha website and order any trees and he'll bring them in November.

Friday, 14 September 2012

SAGS (Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society) draft response to important Scottish Government Consultation

Yes the title of this post might seem a bit dry but consider the following e-mail from SAGS:

Dear SAGS members

Following our message on June 26th about the Scottish Government Consultation on the proposed 'Committee Empowerment and Renewal Bill'
I attach the draft response from the SAGS committee to the Consultation. Please take the time to read the draft and think about the issues. This is really important, a great opportunity but we need to get agreement and get it right.

This is the first time in over sixty years that we have a chance to get our vision for allotments into Legislation. This is very exciting but to actually get something into the Bill requires input and support from all our plot-holders.

 Please send any comments, suggestions for inclusions or  disagreements and changes to be made to me replies by September 17th so we can submit the final response in good time. (closing date September 26th 2012)

If you have time to make your own response that would strengthen our case.

Best wishes

The draft response is available here. Please substitute AT with @ in Judy's e-mail address if responding to her. Realise that is a short deadline but perhaps members might have thoughts on this legislation. SAGS seem to have some quite radical proposals that might find support within the Nairn Society perhaps? Have a read if you have a few moments and see for yourself. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Crowd funded blight resistant tatties - can you help research?

The Savari research trust need finanacial help to get another Sarpo variety on the market. They state:

"We have a promising new seedling (let’s call it Crow, short for Crowdfunded for now) to extend our Sarpo range. We need to test Crow’s performance against standard varieties in the field/garden and in the kitchen. Then we can send seed of Crow for government testing (very expensive) over two growing seasons. If the regulators agree that Crow would make a useful new variety, they will award it National List status. Then the variety can make a big contribution to really sustainable food production in UK and abroad. We need £5000 to help us do this."

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Allotments elsewhere - 1. Town Yetholm

Thanks to Stan Brown of the Yetholm Yewtree Allotments Association who knidly showed me round the plots down in the wee borders community. The plots were a neglected overgrown market garden for many years but recently have had a makeover with the rebuilding of sheds and a reorganisation of the layout. As you will see from the pictures, youth involvement from the outset has been very important to the association.

There are still some of the original fruit trees in the garden and the fruits are shared out among the society's members as and when they are ready. There are no individual sheds allowed, a comfortable communual shed is full of an impressive array of machinery. The plots had the water supply turned off due to increasing costs and so far have been able to collect all the water they need in tanks that take water from roof surfaces. No fires are allowed given the proximity of thatched roofs in the village. 

The plots are in an idyllic setting overlooking the Cheviot hills, the village is reknowned for being the end of the Pennine Way and many thousands of walkers pass through the two parks of the village every year (Kirk and Town Yetholm). The tattie "Yetholm Gypsy" originated in these plots. All in all a very productive scene in an beautiful setting. Yetholm is well worth the detour from Kelso if you have a little time on your hands and the plotters, like the folk in the village in general, are a friendly lot. Individual pictures here. 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Veg on the edge discount for Society members at Book and Arts Festival

If more than ten members want to attend then they can get in for a fiver each - if you'd like to go then phone 453747. Information below:

Fruit and vegetables; A Scottish Guide

£7 Adults, £3 Under 18s
3.30pm Sunday 9th September
Nairn Community & Arts Centre
Caroline Beaton, co author, will speak about this beautifully illustrated and comprehensive book where you will learn how to grow fruit and vegetable , using modern techniques In addition Caroline, an amateur and gifted gardener will give a presentation called Veg on the Edge to inspire us to plant something edible. If gardeners from Barra to Unst can do it, we can too.
A practical guide and history to growing fruit and vegetables in Scotland
Sponsored by Broadley Garden Centre

Saturday, 25 August 2012

AGM Weds August 29th 7.30 p.m.

AGM weds 29th August- 7.30 in the Community Centre. Teas & coffees available, seeds for sale.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

"Give us grounds to grow! ... Hard times call for some smart thinking..."

In November the Society will be holding an event in the Community Centre and the guest speaker will be John Hancox, Director of the Commwealth Orchard and chair of Scottish Orchards. Plotters and others who regularly visit this site may wish to read a recent piece written by John for a national newspaper.  

Give us grounds to grow! John Hancox , Director of the Commonwealth Orchard

Hard times call for some smart thinking, and my view is that it¹s well time for a new Dig for Victory Campaign. All round Scotland there¹s no shortage of unused land which the public own already. There are also plenty of people who are desperate to get hold of land to grow their own healthy, delicious food. In these difficult economic times it makes very little sense to have unused land sitting idle, while people who¹d love to use it for  productive food growing can¹t.

Over several years now, The Commonwealth Orchard, has been helping schools and community groups to develop orchards, food gardens and healthy eating projects. Our mission is to create a Fruitful Scotland with trees growing in parks, gardens schools and wherever there is room, looked after by local people. People really love planting and harvesting their own food. It¹s cheap, good for you, tastes great, and I¹ve yet to find anyone who thinks it¹s a bad idea.

And it¹s fresh  if you pick an apple off the tree (I picked the first of this season¹s apples this week,) it¹s as fresh and delicious as it can be. It¹s a well known scientific fact, that what you grow, and pick yourself tastes far better. You don¹t need to import fruit from France if it¹s growing outside your window in Glasgow. Growing your own saves money, saves carbon, and saves the planet. If everyone agrees that it¹s a no brainer, why is it so very hard to get land to grow food?
In real exasperation we took a Petition to the Scottish Parliament in June, calling for Government agencies who hold public land such as Forestry Commission Scotland, the Crown Estate, local authorities, health boards, and environment groups to make much more land available for people to plant, grow and harvest their own. We were pleased to get cross party support from the MSPs on the Petitions Committee. We really hope this will lead to positive action, soon.

Our call is for a Right to Grow. That would mean that people wanting to grow on unused land could do so, unless there is a good reason why not. We are not calling for changes in land ownership as much land is already in public ownership. The Right to Grow would be rather like the ³Right to Roam² which came about after WW2 and now allows access for walkers into the hills. While this was opposed by landowners at the time, it¹s now the norm and works well.

Government agencies have done various one-off food growing projects. Great though these are, for instance a community garden project in Fort William isn¹t much use if you live in Falkirk. We don¹t need ³pilot studies² now: community orchards, and gardens and also school orchards have been well tried and tested. We need to get on and do far more, and we need the bureaucracy to be removed. Everyone needs somewhere to grow something. The Dig for Victory campaign worked in wartime and can work now.

We don¹t need self appointed experts getting us bogged down in complexity.
During World War 2, when loads of unused land an estimated 1.4 million allotments across the UK- was brought into production with people growing vegetables, fruit, as well as keeping bees, chickens and even goats  and the effect was that the Nation¹s health improved dramatically. People were just given encouragement to get on with it  it was so simple. If it worked then, why not now?

Providing land for food growing, helps people to help themselves. People don¹t want to sit home and watch daytime TV - they want something useful to do. This is true for people young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural. Being able to go and get your hands dirty and grow things is so important to people. And it¹s vital that children learn these skills so they know how to feed themselves in what is an uncertain future.

Growing your own food builds confidence and health and without these the country can¹t recover. The wartime Dig for Victory campaign has lessons for today. Sustainable economic growth clearly isn¹t a term understood by our economists or bankers, but it¹s what drives the people who plant community orchards - you plant trees for future generations - not for immediate personal gain. We are in an economic mess and it¹s time to allow ordinary people to get land to grow, and let them dig us all out of it.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Open day - thanks to everyone that helped

The committee would like to thank all the plotters who helped with the organising and running of the open day. Could we also express thanks to Jill and Finlay Bell of North Of Scotland Marquees . To Cranford Builders for the use of transport , and also to Linda for her scones.
And also thanks to Ashers Bakery , Greens Nurseries, Broadley Garden Centre, Rowan Waste Aware, and Linda Macdonald and her Grandson David from Highland Hospice for attending on the day also Annie Stewart from SGS for manning the gate.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Potato blight - here's hoping we don't get it but if we do...

Personally speaking I haven't known anyone spray, the only thing you can really do is remove the infected plant material and dispose of it - burning is the best. There's a lot more advice here on on how to recognise and deal with blight. Let's hope we don't need it. 

If you really want to be on the top of the game you can subscribe to a blight watch alert system here that gives you a warning when weather conditions are suitable for the spread of blight - you'd probably get one every day just now. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Scottish Orchards Gathering

The Scottish Orchards event in the Royal Botanic Gardens on the 16th of June was quite a remarkable place to be. The dark rain clouds hanging over the capital all day did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the 100 plus delegates who listened to a wide range of speakers who outlined their projects and their hopes for furthering the cause of fruit growing in Scotland.

Two MSPs were present to give their support after the introduction by John Hancox and then there was a talk by Dr Jim Paterson of the Entire Kintyre campaign. Over 1400 fruit trees have been planted on the Kintyre peninsula. Jim has a vision of such regional orchards all over Scotland. I attended his workshop in the afternoon to find out more about his project. He simply began by asking schools, housing associations and other public bodies and voluntary groups if they would like some trees and if they could donate funds to the campaign. It worked remarkably well and is still continuing as those participating come up with more funds for trees.

Interesting too was Charles Winstanley, chair of NHS Lothian who talked about the creation of community gardens on NHS land for fruit and veg growing. The only drawback here are short-term leases as the land available may be needed for development in the future. Charles outlined the health benefits of patients, staff and local communities growing their own food.

Officialdom was represented by Keith Geddes, the Chair of Central Scotland Green Network. He focused on how activists can influence politicians.

And then there were details from representatives of many of the ongoing projects in Scotland ranging from orchards on public land in Glasgow, St Andrews and Buckhaven to restoration type projects in walled gardens not open to the public.

All the delegates seemed determined to extend the concept of communities growing their own fruit throughout Scotland. I’m sure many plotters and others in Nairn interested in growing fruit and veg would have found themselves instantly at home in the company of the Scottish Orchards folk. Growing your own food can have an empowering effect on individuals and communities as we have witnessed in Nairn and the idea of planting more fruit trees in the community can have the same effect.

John Hancox the chair of Scottish Orchards will be coming to Nairn in November as a guest of Nairn Allotment Society and will be giving a talk in the Community Centre. Watch the website for more details nearer the date.

Monday, 25 June 2012

State of the plots - well done

Hello Everyone,

The quarterly plot inspections were done yesterday. The standard is generally very high and is to be commended. If any improvements are to be made, plot holders will be contacted individually, by email.

Some points for us all to be aware of:

1 Sheds shouldn't be raised off the ground, but be sitting on slabs, to discourage vermin from nesting underneath. If yours is already constructed and is off the ground, a skirt of chicken wire, well buried into the ground, would be enough to keep them out.

2 Plot numbers should be prominently displayed - and if yours is in Gaelic, would you mind displaying the numerals as well please, for those who don't speaka da lingo?

3 If you have an open compost heap, would you ensure that perennial weeds are not flourishing on the top?

4 For the sake of your neighbours as well as yourself, lift or at least cut the tops off perennial weeds before they set seeds.

5 Can we remind new plot holders at Sandown (on the smaller plots) that you are responsible for the borders between your fence and the path? Nectar-rich plants, wild flowers, herbs would make a cheap and easily-maintained border which would attract bees to your plot.

6 Mill Rd shared polytunnels - a lot of these spaces have perennial weeds such as the dreaded mare's tail. Please lift them, out of consideration for your neighours.

All we need now is a spell of lovely weather!
(on behalf of the committee.)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Friday, 15 June 2012

Sandown 2 Official Opening

Dick and Karen cutting the celebratory cake last night. Over a hundred guests came to the official opening of Sandown 2 by Provost Liz MacDonald. More pictures will be published next week.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Polytunnel discount offer to NAS members

This in from Myles MacRae:

I would just like to inform you and your members that we will offer a 10% discount on all our basic polytunnel kits, all your member would need to do is show us proof of membership.

We have some tunnels on display at or depot in Nairn, best to give us a call before as we may be out on site visits or deliveries.

Myles MacRae
Highland Polytunnels
Unit 8B2 Balmakeith Business Park
Nairn. IV125QR (Scotland)
Tel: 01667 454875
Fax:0560 1123 114

Soil available

Catrina spotted the following ad on Gumtree, might be useful for anyone planning raised beds:

Brian on 01463220821
Excellent quality black top soil removed due to house extension. Must collect - approx 18 tonnes available free to anyone interested.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A big back-packing thank you!

Thanks to all who helped at the bag-packing today, over £600 raised for the ongoing projects at Mill Road and Sandown. Thanks to all who donated and especially to Sainsbury's for allowing the Society the bag-packing slot. A lot of interest was shown in the information boards and the Society's efforts to encourage Nairnshire residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables. More power to Nairn's grow your own revolution! 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Gooseberry plants

We  have   three  gooseberry  plants  they  are  in  pots  at  the  moment  but  need  to  be  planted out,  they  are  £5 each - money  goes  to the  allotment  society.  Also  we  can  get  onion  sacks now  and again and  have  three  at  the  moment if  any one  wants  them,   they  are  free we  are  just    doing  our  bit  for  recycling also  now  and  again  we  get  the  trays  they  use  for  mushrooms  these  are  great  for  setting  up  your  tatties  too  chit,  other  things  we  get  are  the  large  tubs  you  may  have  seen  them  around  the  site  again  they  are  free,  as  they  would  go  into  the  landfill if  not, also  got  loads  of  pots again  if  you  want some  just  ask.  tel  01667 456804

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Co-op cludgie cheque received

The £2,000 cheque from the Co-op community fund has been received by the treasurer and it may not be too long before the toilet is installed at Mill Road.
Dick will get the application in for building warrant as soon as possible and we'll get Dennis & Gordy down to Mill Rd to complete the work.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Co-op Cash Contribution to Cludgie

The Society has learnt that we are to receive a large contribution to our cludgie fund from the Co-op community fund.  The £2,000 funding will be used to install a toilet facility on our Mill Road site. The toilet pod, with disabled facility was kindly donated by the Highland Council.

Work will begin on site shortly to clear the piece of waste ground recently allocated for purpose, putting in access paths and security fencing.

The area surrounding the facility will be cultivated to create an attractive feature; enhancing the site not only as a haven for wildlife but also to be used as outdoor classroom space for visiting schools and nurseries in the area. Thanks to the Co-op for their generous award and to Jules and Pam who helped with the bid form, they researched the criteria and filled in the form for us.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Car boot sale Sunday 27th May Showfield Nairn - 2012

Save the date - Car boot sale in association with St Ninian JFC. £5 per car at the Showfield 10.00 - 2.00 p.m. Sellers in after 09.00. Cars £5.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


I have  added  a  link    which  will  help  you  find  out  what    weeds  you   could  find  on  your  plot.  Iif  you  know  what  they  are  this   will  help  you on  how  too  deal  with  them,  how  they  grow and  how  they  spread is  half  the  battle, it  is  then  up  too  you on  how  you  get  rid  of  them if you  are  using   organic   methods  stay  on  top  of  your  weeding  it  will  save  you  a  lot  work  in  the  long run  do  not  let  weeds   seed  make  sure  you  get  all  roots  out, perennial  weeds are best  put  in  your  brown  bin, do  not  put  on  your  compost  heap as  they will  regrow, when  you  are weeding its  best done  using a  large  fork make  sure  you pick out all  the  roots  the  more  you  take  out  the  less  too  grow  again.  annual  weeds can  be   done  with  a  hoe this  is  best  done  on  a  sunny  day, it  pays   to  go  around  your plot as  much as  you can with  your   hoe and  get  the  young  weed seedlings before  they  get  big as  the  last  thing  you  want is  a  plot  of  weeds and   none  crops to  harvest.  for  those  who  are  using  non organic methods ie weedkillers  be  careful on  how  and  when  you  use  it think about  your  fellow  plotholders hand weed  were  you  can  this  will  reduce the  amount  of spraying you  have  to  do  also it  will  cut  down   your  costs.


thanks too  all  the  folk  who  came  along today, to  help  us  with  the  weeding of  plot  one  at  millroad, other  great  job  well  done  the  soil  was   a  wee  bit  heavy unlike sandown  which  is  easy  to  dig  but  just  the  way  it  is on  different  sites, plus  different  weeds  on  both  sites.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Next Car Boot - The showfield Sunday 27th May

Unbeknown to each other Nairn St Ninian JFC and Nairn Allotment Society had both arranged to run a series of car boot sales on the last Sunday of the month during the summer. The clash became apparent when the two ads appeared in the Nairnshire Telegraph last week. NAS had organised an event down at the Maggot and the Saints at their Showfield base. As it was both events were successful. The two groups met up however to discuss the clash and the result is that they will jointly run a series of car boots at the Showfield over the summer months.
They will take place on the last Sunday of the month and the first one will be on Sunday 27th of May. Visit this page for details of the events.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Successful car boot sale

As evidenced by our satisfied customer Alison on twitter. Details of further boot sales soon. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

New to the Society and have questions?

Please read our new FAQs page especially if you are likely to get a plot on Sandown 2. Any other questions can be asked at the next meeting or via e-mail to the address in the sidebar. 

Work on Sandown 2 Continues

Bookmark this set of images on Flickr. More will be posted as the work continues. Gordy is making rapid progress and it is hoped that the fencing will start next week too. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Allotment town – one third of all Highland plots are in Sunny Nairn!

Last night around 30 folk attended a meeting at the Waverly hotel. They were mainly the new intake for the 37 Sandown 2 plots that will be allocated in mid-May. Dick Youngson, chair of NAS gave them a brief introduction to the Society. He told them that when the new plots were ready there would be over 100 allotments in Nairn at Sandown, Mill Road and two other micro sites in the town Centre. There was a sense of déjà vu about the meeting as it is incredible that after securing and developing the Mill Road site last year the Society have pulled it off again with the opening of Sandown 2 now on the horizon.

Dick outlined the history of the Sandown plots from the mid-eighties when the Viewfield plots were closed and new provision made on the edge of town. He outlined how the Society was formed in 2005 in response to fears that the Sandown plots could be developed. From the formation of the group NAS have never looked back. There has been a sea change in the attitude of Highland Council to allotments too, not only in Nairn but throughout the Highlands, this was evidenced by the presence of Keith Walker, the Council’s allotments officer.

The new members were given the opportunity to ask a few questions and meet each other and the committee. Keith gave all the new starts a survey that will be filled in anonymously now and one year on to gauge new plotters attitudes to the health benefits of working a plot. This is an initiative that Keith and other allotment officers throughout Scotland are working. Keith said that Holyrood is showing a great interest in allotment gardening and he had received Freedom of Information requests from MSPs in relation to questions about plots in the Highlands.

He told us for the Society’s information after the meeting: “At the beginning of 2010 when we started implementing the new allotments policy, there were 7 sites in Highland with a total of 101 plots. Right now, that’s increased to 15 sites and 266 plots. With  Sandown2 in operation, that will increase to 303 plots,”

This means that now one third of all plots in the Highlands are in Nairn. The Society will not stop looking for more sites however. The waiting list is growing again. If you are a landowner who could help or even a householder with a big garden you aren’t using, then the Society wants to hear from you.

Society representatives attended a meeting at the hospital on Friday the 13th. We went in response to an e-mail from Sam at Sky Delights. Here’s part of what she had to say:

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mill Road one year on!

Click here for a reminder of the state of play around this time last year. Soon similar scenes will be seen up at Sandown as the expansion of the allotments up there starts. In the meantime here's what the plotters at Mill Road have achieved in 12 months.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Cold Frame

I have a cold frame if anyone wants it, the size of it is 4 feet long by two feet wide it does not have a top but one could be made up for it, free too pick up just give us a phone on

Friday, 2 March 2012

Tree planting Viewfield volunteers needed 23rd March

No times yet but Dick wonders if anyone can possibly help to plant some larger trees in Viewfield on Friday the 23rd. More details later.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Final piece of Sandown 2 jigsaw recommended for approval at March 1st meeting.

It's item 21 on the Highland Council agenda for March 1st:

The Members, as Trustees of the Nairn Common Good Fund are asked to approve the letting of an additional area of land extending to approximately 0.90 Ha (2.22 Ac) or thereby to the Nairn Allotment Society on terms and conditions as stipulated in the Council’s Allotments Policy and as otherwise to be agreed by the Director of Housing & Property."

"Following the outcome of a Sandown Design Charette, where local residents were afforded the opportunity to voice their opinions regarding the future use of the land, the consensus was that Allotments would be an appropriate and suitable use of this particular section of the Sandown Lands."

Support from Sandy, Liz, Laurie and Graham

"Local Members have been consulted and support the proposal to lease this land to the Nairn Allotment Society, subject to agreeing satisfactory terms and incorporating the Highland Council Allotment Policy."

Full document here. If anyone would like to try growing your own then why not put your name down on our waiting list? E-mail address in the sideba

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Bees Butterflies and blooms

I watched the programme bees butterflies and blooms by Sarah Rraven it was in three parts the last part being last night, in it Sarah campaign's for more to be done to encourage bees and butterflies in our countryside and also in our towns and cities, we have been doing this on our plot last year were we had a boarder by out side the plot with flowers, this year i will do the same one but will do more flowers on the plot as well, single flowers are best for the bees so they can get in to them for their food, so please think about the bees and butterflies when you are making plans for your plot this year if you can plant some flowers for them they in turn will help you by pollinating your fruit and vegetables.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Charrette update - Support from Councillors for allotments

"At the Planning Charrette for Sandown at the beginning of this month we handed in 124 letters of support and the plans for our project. There was total support for our proposals thanks to all of your letters, the backing of our 4 Ward Councillors and Louise Clark. "
Dick Youngson, Nairn Allotment Society

Thursday, 2 February 2012

All go for Sandown phase 2 with the Charrette

Here's the green for go as far as the Charrette was concerned. It was all down to Jim McKinnon the Chief Planner for the Scottish Government on Monday night actually. There had been the usual questions raised arising from the toxicity that is the past history of Sandown and questions about rushing ahead etc. When that had finished this observer made a plea for a part of the process to be rushed ahead very quickly indeed. That is to say for the allotments to go ahead soonest if approved by the Charrette. I mentioned funding and the community groups etc and how the plots, if not creating monetary wealth for the town, certainly add value to the community in other ways. Jim was aware of the proposal and very supportive. He asked the meeting in the Courthouse if anyone had any objection to the allotment expansion. It was unanimous. "Looks like you've got your allotments," said Jim.

Thanks to the mighty Jim McKinnon, Chief Planner to the Scottish Government!

Saturday, 28 January 2012


we have a 7x5 greenhouse for sale price £80 buyer to take down and remove it all the glass is ok tel 01667 456804

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Sandown Phase 2 - time for all members, waiting list folk and all supporters to act next week!

IMPORTANT FOLKS - Next week you can help make the 38 plots and community group facilities at Sandown a reality. Funding has been secured and the active support of Sandy Park, Liz MacDonald, Graham Marsden and Laurie Fraser obtained but it won't happen unless we convince the Sandown Charrette team of the need for more plots on Sandown. Please read on and then print off and put your name and address to this letter:

It has transpired that it may be difficult for many to attend the Charrette, because of work committments etc, so it was decided that we could add our voice by putting it in writing.

Dick will then take all our letters to the meeting.

To make it easier for everyone, we have one already prepared....just download, print, add your address, sign and return it to any committee member by saturday 28th january at the very latest.
We'll also be at Sandown Allotments on saturday from 11am- 1pm. You could drop off your letter there, if that's easier. Alternatively e-mail and we will arrange collection.

Anyone who is a resident of Nairn and over 18 can have their views recorded. .

We need as many as possible to even be in with a chance of securing Sandown Phase 2. This really is make or break time.

Many, many thanks for your help.

The Committee

Friday, 13 January 2012

Can anyone help Colin with Greenhouse and Compost inquiries?

Hi There

Wondering if anyone can help. I have earlier in 2011 built my own “Mini” allotment in my back garden including Greenhouse and raised veg patch.

During last year I found my greenhouse to be so warm it was burning things I had in there. I am wondering if anyone can help me fit one of the mechanical windows, where if it gets to warm then the window opens. Looking at the greenhouse, there has been one there but for whatever reason it was removed. I will pay for any parts needed unless there are 2nd hand parts available but need someone to give me advise on what I need to do.

I was also wondering about compost/manure. I don’t drive to collect any horse manure etc but have built my own compost area including bin. In here all grass cuttings, waste foodstuffs etc have been put in and a heavy carpet put on top to weigh down. Is this ok and safe to use as compost?

Any help is very much appreciated.



Anyone that can help with fitting a window for Colin please e-mail please leave compost and all other advice in the comments - thanks

Thursday, 12 January 2012

First Training Session of 2012 - 28th January

Robert's next training session 28.1.12 at 11am- sandown. Subject starting the growing season. Sent round robin e.mail already.

Also usual meeting on 25.1.12 at the Waverley 7.30pm Opportunity to pay annual account & have a catch up. Cheap seeds available to buy from only 50p.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A happy growing new year

A happy growing year folks, the weather up till now has been not bad i got a few jobs done on the plot i have moved all the drums that i was using to grow my parsnips in they have gone into the polytunnel along with the other drums, i will see how the veg grows in the tunnel doing it this way, i have also started off my first lot of seeds which are two lots of onions white and red they are in our propagator at the moment and i shall be checking the other seeds for sowing as and when they have to be done, most of the plot has been covered with the cardboard which has helped us in keeping the ground clean, last week i got the boarder behind the polytunnel all weeded out this is were i have been growing flowers, while doing this i came across tulip bulbs begining to grow so the growing season will soon be upon us busy times potting up seed sowing and keeping on top of the weeds. the birds will be busy as well and as i was doing the weeding the robin was never far away from me hoping i would unearth some worms for him i put up one of coconut bird feeders for some of the other birds and they are using it so thats good it gives them a helping hand. some other jobs i still need to do are start taking more of the horse manure down for the compost heap so i get a good mixture in it as it is something that makes for a good compost heap.