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The National Allotment Society Newsletter – News from the Northern Region

Please click here to view the full newsletter.

Growing Food for Health and Wellbeing – 10 to 16 August 2020

Still lots of time to enter our National Allotments Week Competition, tell us your Allotment Story

“What my allotment means to me” for individuals (14 years upwards)- £100 prize
“The history of our site” or “Our site’s projects and plans for the future” for associations – £200 prize
“ What I grow at the allotment” for children (up to 14 years)- £50 prize

We are asking for short mobile phone videos or storyboards (slides on a powerpoint or even illustrations) We are not looking for Oscar Winners, just stories that illustrate how much our members love their plots! Click Here for more details and an example video, made using power-point and windows media player. Deadline 31 July 2020.

COVID19 Update

Following the 4 July relaxation to government rules around activity during the Covid19 pandemic we have updated our guidance on the NAS website, to view CLICK HERE

However we feel that it is important to note that the recent lock-down has only suppressed the virus, it has not gone away. So, it is important that the allotment community continues to take precautions to limit social contact on allotments and ensure good hygiene practices are followed.

The Society ran a small survey during the lockdown and 40% of the councils canvassed reported that their waiting lists had rocketed, by 500% in one borough.

Many allotment sites are looking better than ever due to plot-holders having more time to tend their plots and help with site maintenance. The community orchard at Binley Woods in the West Midlands has been given some much needed TLC, thoroughly weeded, a new weed suppressing membrane put down and fresh bark applied.

NAS General Insurance Scheme – what has changed?
Liz Bunting- Legal and Operations Manager

For the last few years Shield have been acting as the broker for any allotment insurance policies taken out by our members. As a consequence of re-structuring at their offices, Shield (as broker) have passed our scheme along with several others to Chris Knott (broker).

This in no way impacts on the insurance policies offered to our membership via Vantage, it is identical insurance at the same rates, via the same underwriter. It is purely the customer service element, that has changed, so for the future Chris Knott are the broker to contact with any queries or renewals.This has all been carried out with the full knowledge of NAS and we have been in discussion with Chris Knott staff to ensure a smooth transfer. We also communicated with the membership via our NAS newsletter in May as soon as this happened. Shield have subsequently sent out a letter to all policy holders.

Aminopyralid Contamination
If you have concerns that your commercial compost or manure was contaminated with Aminipyralid herbicide, resulting in crops showing weak or stunted growth. Please let us know at diane@nsalg.org.uk

Emails should also be sent to CRDEnforcement@hse.gov.uk and UKHotline@corteva.com, headed “Aminopyralid contamination”.

The Kings Seeds Scheme
Does your association take advantage of this valuable benefit? The prices in the Kings NAS Members catalogue are already discounted by 40% on mail order prices and Associations receive further discounts for bulk orders. Click here for a leaflet that explains the scheme.

The catalogues will be dispatched in early August and the early ordering discount date has been extended to the end of November.

NAS AGM news

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to have a huge impact on everyone, our priority at this time is the health and wellbeing of our members and the communities you live in.

The NAS Management and Governance Committees have been closely monitoring the restrictions in place and sadly, we had to postpone our AGM, due to be held in Leeds on the 6th June. However, under our Co-operative rules we must hold an AGM every year and give our members the opportunity to attend and vote. So, for this year we are looking into holding a virtual AGM, which will cover business aspects only, possibly one- hour in duration to fulfil our legal requirements. Further information will be available over the coming weeks

2020 was also going to be our 90th year celebration, so in 2021 we will be celebrating “90 years and counting”.

The 2021 AGM will be held on Saturday 12th June in Marks Tey, Colchester with business in the morning and a visit to Kings Seeds in the afternoon. Liz Bunting Legal and Ops Manager
NAS member offers from:

Access Irrigation, Chicken Guard, C J Wildlife, Garden Site, LBS, Mantis, Moonshine, Rolawn Propagation Place, W M James, WooWoo, Natural Grower

Website

Report from your Regional Representative

From the end of March as the impact of covid pandemic began to bite, most enquiries related to covid safety advice and the need to keep the regions allotment sites open for our northern families, went directly to the National Society.Thankfully this debate was won and the Government accepted that allotment activities could be continued safely throughout the crisis. Thank You all at Corby Head Office .

Regionally we still handled 16 enquiries,mostly by post and email .These were two individual member disputes with Parish Councils and one member site covid issue.Three internal disputes involving member Associations.Two new membership requests and eight requests from non-members desperately seeking someone’s help. In the Northern Branch we never refuse anyone a helping hand and some good advice but if they want the full service they need to consider joining our ranks .From the number of non -members seeking our advice recently, it is clear that NAS is sometimes the only means to help in times of trouble.

Glen March.

Harry James’ Allotment Supper!

All produce from the plot comprising new potatoes cooked with butter dressing on a bed of lettuce – peas and broad beans cooked and plunged into cold water – drizzle of lime juice and olive oil dressed with fresh mint – awesome – air miles nil!!

Freshly picked – yellow raspberries – red currants – sour cream finished with fine chopped mint and edible flowers – yummy!
A Big Thank You to Life Member from Carlisle, Elizabeth Allnutt who sent in a piece of writing about her plot during lockdown that supplied quotes that were used in many national magazine and newspaper articles about the benefits of allotment life during lockdown. CLICK HERE to read Elizabeth’s article.

We are the leading national organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK; working with government at national and local levels, other organisations and landlords to promote and preserve allotments for all. We offer support, guidance and advice to our members and all those with an interest in allotment gardening.

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