It is fantastic that we can visit our allotments and keep growing while the lock down continues. I am based on Scarcroft allotments and here are some nature notes of what I and other people have been seeing on the site. No doubt similar wildlife will be turning up on allotments all over York. It would be great if people’s sightings could be recorded on this Butterfly Conservation website. Even the smallest bug or worm will have a part to play and an interesting life cycle. Now we have a bit more time to stand and stare, check out what lives in your compost bin, amongst the leaf litter or what birds are visiting your plot. I’ll start off with some butterfly updates.
Butterflies on Scarcroft have come out of hibernation, so spring is definitely coming. As the next few days will be chilly so we may not see them but keep a look out when it warms up again. In my garden and on the allotment last week, I have seen lots of Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies and a couple of Brimstones. More information can be found on the Butterfly Conservation website https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies
Both the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies lay their eggs on nettles so if you have some in a sunny position don’t dig them up, just keep an eye open for eggs and caterpillars. The Brimstone’s food plant is Alder Buckthorn which I have on my allotment and I did once have their green caterpillars on it so fingers crossed for this year.
Another fairly early butterfly I haven’t seen yet is the Orange Tip, the name is a bit of a clue and the males have lovely orange ends to their wings. One of their food plants is Jack by the Hedge or Garlic Mustard which is found along our paths and on some allotments.
We are delighted to be able to share this document, produced by Prof Ross Wilson, currently of Nottingham University, on the subject of the history of the allotments in York. There is a wealth of information here about many of our sites, as well as other non-YACIO sites, many of which are still in existence.
Thank you to Prof Wilson for allowing us to share this with you all:
Join our annual Summer Fete, as part of our Centenary Celebrations in our newly created Community area, ‘Hempland Haven’, car park area allotment shop.
Free event for all association members and the local community. Bringing our community together, sharing successes and failures of the season so far and friendship and laughter over a BBQ and a few drinks!
BBQ (bring your own items to sizzle, but don’t worry if you forget as some can be purchased on the day). Salads, bread rolls, sauces will be provided.
All proceeds raised on the day, are put back into the maintenance of the allotment site, for the benefit of all who work on the site and walk through it.
Please note that there will be no on-site car parking available, during the event
Please see below for more details of classes and events:
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
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.