Ealing Council cultivation guidelines

Here is a summary of the guidelines for how an allotment plot should be cultivated.

Cultivated is: the plot needs to be planted, cropped, harvested or being prepared. It is not sufficient to simply keep it clear of weeds, but then to leave it unplanted.

In the main growing season, we would expect to see:
• Fruit, vegetables or flowers
• Lawn and grass paths mowed and trimmed
• No weeds going to seed
• No brambles or couch grass creeping around the plot

In the winter months:
• The above (but obviously less fruit, veg and flowers)
• Beds dug over ready for the winter frost
• Or, if no-dig methods are being used, a clean bed with no weeds
• Green manures being grown
• Growing areas being prepared (and covered to suppress weeds)

Cultivation area:
• In the first three months on site at least 25% of the plot should be cultivated
• After six months of taking tenancy, up to 50% of the plot would be expected to be cultivated
• By 12 months 75% should be cultivated
• In year two and beyond 75% minimum of the plot should still be cultivated
• Areas of plots covered are not considered to be cultivated
• Around 10% of the plot can be a shed, composting area, water storage

Improvement Orders

A failure to abide by the above guidelines is likely to lead to the issue of an improvement order under Allotment Rule 5 and may lead to the loss of your plot. Issues that may trigger such and order are:

• Plot neglect based on extended absences
• The plot being left largely uncultivated
• Weeds left to go to seed, causing a serious nuisance to plot neighbours
• Accumulations of waste materials and rubbish on the plot

It is appreciated that there might be mitigating circumstances that quite reasonably prevent a plot holder from fulfilling their responsibilities as regards plot cultivation and maintenance. If such a situation arises, it is essential that the matter is discussed with the site manager to determine how the situation might be managed before the matter escalates to the issue of an improvement order.