Finding your way around Folly Field
Everything you need to know about the Folly Lane allotment site - from plot signs to paths, from water supplies to woodchip...
Club House - please feel free to use the Club House located on plot 30. It is always a good place to shelter when it rains or somewhere to take a break, drink a cup of tea, meet other plot holders, read a selection of gardening magazines, etc.
Children’s Play Area and BBQ site - located alongside the club house, on plot 30, complete with toys , wildlife pond and summer barbecue area.
Fires - the Council permit Bonfires from October to April only on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 12.00 noon (in line with the Environmental Protection Act 1990). Please keep your use of bonfires to a minimum to avoid annoying neighbours. Above all NEVER leave a bonfire unattended or smouldering overnight when you go home.
Gates - Entry to the site is by two gates, both on Folly Lane. The lower gate is the one near the petrol station. Both gates should be locked at all times. Please make particular care that you have locked them when you leave in the evening. Vandalism and fly tipping are frequently opportunistic so shutting the gates DOES make a difference. The Council will provide you with a key when you register for a plot.
Leaf and Woodchip piles - FLAG arranges for these to be supplied by the Council contractors. Leaves are very useful as mulch or as compost as they conserve water. Please use this resource appropriately; do NOT Ieave rubbish on the leaf piles
Steel Community Shed - situated next to plot 58 and may used only for storing communal tools (strimmers, mowers) and FLAG equipment (BBQ equipment, fuel, etc) that have to be kept under lock and key. FLAG committee members each have keys.
If you need access to the shed because you want to borrow a FLAG tool then contact Brian.
Surplus Table - found behind the steel shed and for everyone to use. Please - leave any pots, plants, fruit, vegetables etc. that you do not require but which be useful to someone else - help yourself to any items there you could use!
Notice Board - Next to the steel shed and available for both FLAG and Council notices.
Plot Signs - FLAG has made sign posts for every member's plot. This involved a great deal of work but we hope it will save misunderstandings with the Council as to whose plot is cultivated and whose not. Please help keep it in place and visible!
Paths - it is the shared responsibility of both tenants to maintain the paths between plots. This is part of your tenancy agreement with the Council. The main, larger paths are the council's responsibility and it is their contractors who cut the grass. It is important to keep the main paths clear of any obstructions, anything left on them will prevent the contractors from mowing. Heaps of stones, bits of old carpet etc. damage their machinery.
Unwanted items - compost all your bio-degradable material at one end of your plot but avoid any meat scraps from the kitchen (Rats!). Any burnable green waste (brambles, woody stems, etc.) should be added to the bonfire pile alongside the green waste heap at the lower (petrol station) end of the site. Please throw everything green (perennial weeds, dandelion roots, etc) that you cannot compost yourself WELL BACK, so nothing falls on the path.
Non compostable rubbish (metal, plastic, etc) should preferably be taken off-site and placed in your own recycle bins. Large items can be placed on the pile near the lower gate . We do ask the council to clear this type of waste but their response times are very slow.
Site stewarding - Our Site Steward is always in touch with the council regarding our site. If you have concerns about site matters it is best if you check with one of the FLAG committee members first as the council may already be scheduled to do something about it. Any leaking taps should be reported as soon as possible to one of the FLAG committee members, not to the council. See below for more details.
Work Parties - as the Council do only minimal maintenance FLAG organises occasional work parties. If each of us gives just 1 hour a year we can keep the place tidier and more secure. Jobs involve tree trimming, shaping leaf piles etc. Refreshments are always available in the Club House to help you recover and meet new friends!
Soil - Generally slightly alkaline, being largely gravelly loam over chalk - easy to dig but drying out rapidly in summer. It is important to get as much organic matter as you can into the soil to retain water. (See note about leaf pile.) Avoid treading on soil when it is wet and sticky.
Treasure - the site is near the Roman road running from Verulamium to Colchester and alongside a range of Roman and early British remains. So look out for Roman coins, pottery pieces and medieval silver pennies.
Water - this is available from standpipes around the site during the growing season but is switched off over the winter to prevent frost damage. There is a rainwater butt that fills from the roof of the steel shed, and two butts beside the clubhouse – you can get water here if you don’t have a butt on your plot. We would encourage all those with sheds to fit a butt.
Mains water could potentially become either a chargeable item or withdrawn, so we as a tenant body must do what we can to minimise mains water usage. . Please use the water responsibly. Never leave hoses running unsupervised. Never use sprinklers. We do have a FLAG member who will repair taps and minor leaks. The council will repair site burst pipes. If you spot a leak then email one of the FLAG committee.