There have recently been a number of complaints from local residents across York regarding inappropriate bonfires on allotment plots causing a nuisance and, in some cases, serious health issues.
Allowing a bonfire to cause a nuisance to neighbouring residents or other allotment tenants contravenes your allotment tenancy. It may also be an offence under environmental protection law. If the Council’s Environmental Protection Unit receive a complaint they issue an official warning. After a warning, further nuisance could lead to a court appearance and a fine of up to £5,000.
Please note the following rules for trouble free bonfires:
- Don’t light a bonfire on a warm, dry day, when neighbouring residents may be sitting out in their garden or drying their washing
- Don’t light a fire between Easter & October unless the weather is cold and grey
- Don’t burn your weeds – most can be composted to improve the soil
- Don’t bring rubbish from home to burn on your plot
- Only burn dry, woody garden waste
- Choose a still, cool evening for your fire
- Make sure the fire is out before you leave it
Hosepipes must only be used for filling water butts and containers. You must not use them to directly water your plot. Sprinklers are strictly prohibited.
This is for several reasons:
- Using a hosepipe for extended periods means that other plot holders cannot get water.
- Watering with a hosepipe is inefficient and leads to excessive water consumption, much of which is lost to evaporation.
- Excessive water usage may lead to a water shortage and a hosepipe ban in times of drought.
The National Allotment Society website has more information on Gardening In A Drought which offers some helpful advice.
Plot inspections have recently taken place across most sites. Some tenants will have received a letter from us telling them that they need to improve the condition of their plot. But what does this mean? We ask that at least 25% of a plot is cultivated as set out below.
The tenant must demonstrate that they are maintaining their plot in a cultivatable state. This means that they are:
- making every effort to control weed growth
- preparing the soil for sowing or planting
- planting out new crops during the growing season or maintaining perennials such as fruit bearing shrubs or trees
The use of weed suppressant covering by tenants is permitted in the following circumstances:
- to prepare an overgrown plot for cultivation (weed suppressant coverings should not normally be in place for more than 12 months)
- on a temporary basis for small areas of the plot (not exceeding 50% of the total area) not currently being used for growing
- in the event of a prolonged absence, either due to illness or circumstances beyond the plot holders control, larger proportions of covering are permitted providing the tenant makes arrangements for YACIO to be notified.
A huge thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with the YACIO stall at the Bloom Festival!
There was a lot of interest and we hope that the information provided about the allotments was helpful.
Remember, to join the waiting list for a site you just need o fill out the form here.
In conjunction with a nationally exhibited photographer Dan May, we’re looking to start a project photographing allotment holders and their plots. The aim is to provide a record of York allotments and the people who cultivate them in 2018 and, hopefully, stage an exhibition of the photographs in the city later this year.
Dan is keen to meet allotment holders old and new and hear their stories and record them in photographs. He would particularly like to hear from groups of plotholders or meet those with more ‘unusual’ plots or allotment stories. Dan is a professional photographer and will ensure all photos are taken with consent. All photos taken will also be available for YACIO to use for promotional purposes.
If you or perhaps a group of plotholders or an allotment association would like to be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
You may already have heard about the Bloom Festival taking place in York between 5th and 8th July.
York Allotments (YACIO) will be participating at two events. The first is the Shambles Flower Market on Sunday 8th July where we will have a stall to promote allotments in the city. We need helpers to staff the stall, if you can help, even for just an hour or two please email
We are also able to sell surplus allotment produce from the stall. If you’ve a glut of anything that would otherwise go to waste please also let us know. All monies raised will support allotment good causes.
The second Bloom event we’re involved in, along with Edible York, is an Edible Gardening Question Time. This will take place on Thursday 5th July at Bootham School. Doors open from 6pm for light refreshments, question time begins at 7pm.
The event will be chaired by former BBC gardening presenter Wil Jenkyn with a panel of four experienced local allotment holders ready to answer your questions. If you’ve any tricky growing problems on the plot this is a chance to get some expert advice.
As you may be aware the law on Data Protection is changing. Since we hold data about all of our tenants we need to be clear with you what data we hold, and for what purpose, and why we think this is legitimate.
We hold data that you supplied to us or to the City of York Council when you applied for a tenancy. This is basic contact information and may include other details such as your age or if you are on benefits. We use this information for the effective administration of the charity and to give us information which forms the basis of the contract (tenancy).
In addition to this we keep records of contacts we have with you; for example if you make an enquiry and we reply we keep a note of that enquiry and what we said in response. This helps us run the charity effectively.
All of this information is held securely on a data base which is ‘GDPR compliant’. This simply means that it is structured in a way that fulfills the requirements of the new laws on data protection. In future we will allow site secretaries to access records only for those tenants who have plots on their sites. If the site secretary cannot access the database we might provide them with basic contact information for tenants on their sites as a printed list. They will keep this information securely.
If you give up your tenancy we will keep some information to help, for example should you reapply for an allotment.
Under no circumstances will we sell on your data to any other organisation.
We are taking advice as to whether there are circumstances under which the Emergency Services or City of York Council (as the Landlord) might oblige us to pass on your contact data.
If you have any concerns about our holding of your data or the use we put it to then do feel free to contact us.
YACIO are looking to add new Trustees to help manage the Allotments.
This role is voluntary and requires you to be available to attend evening meetings once a month and help oversee the organisation.
If you think you have the time, skills and expertise to offer please send expressions of interest by email to email@example.com before the end of June.
For further details please visit:
Final reminders for all outstanding invoices have gone out this week. If you believe you have already paid please get in touch.
If you have not received your bill or new tenancy agreement yet this year please get in touch urgently as we will not have the correct contact information on file for you and you may be at risk of losing your allotment unless you get in touch.
If you have paid your invoice at the Post Office you MUST return your cash paying in slip to us as requested or we cannot assign your payment to your customer account.
If you have yet to pay your invoice you can pay online, send a cheque by post, or contact the Administrator for a special paying in slip to pay by cash at a local post office.