The Rules

The Association shall be called The Wildmoor Allotment Holders’ Association. Its purpose is to manage and control the Allotment site responsibly and for the benefit of its members.

1.  Annual General Meeting: An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held if possible during the third week in November of each year. An agenda for the meeting will be emailed or posted to the last recorded address of each member. It will elect a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and five Committee Members who may co-opt further members as required.  Other meetings will be at the discretion of the Committee.

2.  Rents: Annual rents will be fixed for the forthcoming year at each AGM.  They are normally paid to the Treasurer at the end of the meeting.  It is the responsibility of members to ensure that rents are paid to the Treasurer by the 1st January following the AGM. Rents paid later that the 1st January are subject to an additional £5 surcharge per plot. After the 31st January it will be assumed that non-paying Members have resigned.  They must vacate their plot(s) immediately and remove all belongings etc.

3.   Plot State: Members are expected to keep their plots in a reasonable state of cultivation.  Weeds, roots etc. should be kept under control and not cause problems to neighbouring plot holders.

4.   Rubbish and weeds:   Rubbish and weeds are the responsibility of individual members and must not be dumped in nearby ditches or under hedges.  They must not be tipped onto adjacent farmland or what may appear to be unused areas of the Allotment Site. 

5.   Inspections: The Committee will inspect the site on a regular basis and retain the right to withdraw the membership of any plot holder where there is evidence of inadequate cultivation (to the standard agreed at the 2008 AGM). Members who have multiple plots must maintain each of their plots to this standard. Failure to do so may result in plot reallocation.

6.  Fires: Carefully dried vegetable waste etc. may be burned at any time on Wednesdays and on other days after 2pm during the winter months and after 4pm during the summer months. “Summer” will be taken as the period between the start and end of British Summer Time.  In October ONLY a fire will be allowed from 2pm at the weekend. Fires must have died down, be under control and not left until they are in a safe condition (or preferably extinguished by the plot holder responsible before he or she leaves the site). No material of any kind from off-site can be burned. Please be considerate to other plotholders when you have a fire.

7.  Sub-Letting and Boundaries: Plots which are allocated cannot be sub-let, changed or transferred without specific approval. The standard plot of 10 square poles is 10yds by 30yds.  These areas must be adhered to and no inclusions onto grass verges or other vacant plots will be permitted.  Members who are uncertain of their boundary limits should confirm them by reference to the Committee. All plots must be numbered.

8.  Cars: Cars may be parked on the wide verges available or on members own plots.  Car parking places on plots may have a dark coloured hardcore base, on top of a permeable lower layer. They should be edged on three sides, and not intrude onto the plot by more than 8 feet. Cars must not obstruct the roadways or be left to cause inconvenience to other plot holders. Drivers must proceed at a maximum speed of 5 mph and in a manner that avoids annoyance to others and damage to the roadway.

9. Sheds, Animals and Trees:

a) Allotment sheds should be a maximum size of 6ft X 8ft, either wood or metal and not on a permanent base (eg poured concrete). No glass is allowed.
b) Any fruit bushes or trees shall be of a suitable size so as not to cause a nuisance to other plotholders re position, height, light and root invasion. Dwarfing rootstocks including M27, M9 and M26 are suitable.
c) In respect of livestock, domestic animals and bees will not be permitted.
d) Any other structures, poly tunnels, plastic green houses, car park spaces etc. cannot have permanent bases, i.e. poured concrete. All bases must be permeable.

10.  Dogs: No dogs are permitted on the site excepting those whose owners have express permission by the Committee for working purposes.

11.  Watering and taps: The use of hosepipes to water a plot is expressly forbidden. Watering is permitted only from a hand held watering can.  However, hoses can be used to top up water butts.  Taps must be operated using an approved pattern of key, obtained from the Letting Secretary.  Spanners, pliers, etc., cause damage to the tap spindles and are prohibited.  Disabled members may apply, in writing, to the Secretary for a dispensation to use a hosepipe for watering and must have this written dispensation with them when using a hosepipe.

A low-flow drip feed system is permitted if it is fed from a water tank or butt which has been previously filled, and is not being filled at the time. All users filling up butts with hosepipes from taps should be aware of other water users and the need to share access to water when people need it.

12.  Security: The main gate must be closed and locked at all times.  All members have a responsibility to see that this done respective of the time of day.  All members should have the current lock combination which may be obtained from the Letting Secretary.

13.  Rabbit Gate: The ‘Rabbit Gate’ must always be closed immediately after use and never left open.

14.  Fences: The ‘Rabbit Fence’ around the perimeter must be treated with care and any damage reported immediately to the Secretary.  No materials of any sort should be stacked against the perimeter fence and an inspection space should be left free.

15.  Disciplinary Protocol: When persistent breaches of the rules of the Association are committed, and following the application of the Disciplinary Protocol, the committee have the right to suspend membership of the Association with immediate effect.  A formal Disciplinary Procedure which was ratified at the 2007 A.G.M is in effect and can be viewed on the web site or obtained in printed form on request from the Secretary.

16.  Member Details: Members are responsible for ensuring that the Secretary is informed of any changes regarding their address or telephone number.

17.  Applicability and changes to these Rules: These rules, which are normally introduced or amended at the AGM, are mandatory and for the benefit of all members.  The Committee reserve the right to take action when they are ignored.  However, individual members always have the right to contest rulings which they consider to be inappropriate.  This can be done by immediate reference to the Committee and not deliberately flouting them.  More detailed rulings are recorded in the previous AGM minutes.

18.  Restrictions: 

a) The use of GLASS, ASBESTOS, CAR TYRES AND CARPETS is prohibited.

b) The use of firearms, air weapons and projectile weapons is prohibited at all times.

20.  Probation period: All new members will have a 3 month probationary period on joining, during which time they must have demonstrated a commitment to their plot.  If at the end of this period there is no evidence of this, their membership shall be forfeit.  Allowances will be made for the initial conditions of the plot, adverse weather and relevant personal conditions, all of which are subject to the Committee’s approval.

Plot Maintenance Standards 

The following standards of minimum plot maintenance were collectively agreed by the membership at the 2008 AGM.

Definition of Inadequate Cultivation (Rule 5)

  1. Any areas of a plot not worked, cultivated or maintained for more than one year.
  2. Areas of a plot that has unacceptable extensive areas of persistent weed or vegetation. For example, tall weeds, brambles, uncontrolled grass and thistles.
  3. The condition of the plot must be such that if the plot were surrendered a new member would not experience clearance problems. For example heaps of non-combustible vegetation, mounds of earth, unused bricks, baths or miscellaneous shed panels.
  4. More than 2/3rds of the plot must be in a state of cultivation.                                                                                                        

The examples given under points 2 and 3 are all based upon specific complaints received by the Committee. 

Procedure for Dismissal Approved at the AGM November 2022

1.  Monthly plot inspections are carried out during the growing season (April to October).

2.  If there is a problem with a plot, a member of the committee, usually the Lettings Officer, will contact the plotholder (generally by email) and send or give him/her a copy of the first warning letter.  The personal approach is to ascertain whether there are reasons why the problems have arisen and explain the importance of keeping weeds down etc.

3.  If no improvement has been made by the next plot inspection (after at least 28 days) then the second warning letter will be sent.  This letter will make it clear that if no improvement has been made, or mitigating circumstances divulged, a termination notice will be sent after 14 days.  The first contact will be by e-mail and a request for an acknowledgement will be made.  If no acknowledgement has been received after 1 week, the letter will be sent by post by the secretary, or dropped through the door. 

4.  A final inspection will be undertaken by the chairman and lettings officer after 14 days.  If insufficient improvement has been made, a termination notice will be sent by the chairman.  This will give 14 days to remove personal effects before the plot is re-let. 

5.  In the case of other repeated offences against the rules (for example speeding, fire etc) a termination notice can be sent after 2 warning letters, all at least 14 days apart. 

6.  There is a right of appeal against the decision and in order to do so the plotholder should contact the committee via the chairman or secretary within 14 days of receipt of the termination letter.  A meeting will then be arranged with three members of the committee. The plotholder can bring one other plotholder along if he or she wishes.

Disciplinary Procedure (Ratified at the 2007 AGM)
To be used in cases following serious or persistent breaches of the Rules of the Association and in some cases where the conduct of the member has given cause for concern.  
Step 1    Initial attempt to resolve the issue amicably and informally between the parties involved, mediated by Committee Members.
Step 2    If Step 1 fails then the member will be invited by letter to attend a meeting of the Committee which shall consist of not less than 3 Committee Members. The member may bring one other Association member with them if they wish. At this meeting the member will be given the opportunity to explain the actions or conduct that have caused concern and which has been outlined to them in a letter. 
Step 3    Should the member refuse to attend this meeting or he/she fail to satisfy the majority of the Committee members present, then the Committee will have the authority to immediately suspend the membership with two week’s notice to quit the site. 
Step 4    Right to appeal will be through a full Committee Meeting.