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.