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Site Welcome

Finding your way around Folly Field


Everything you need to know about the Folly Lane allotment site -  from compost to club house, 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.

We also use the Clubhouse to deposit spare seeds for whoever wants them or equipment to borrow.

FLAG members can also collect their copy of the latest Kings Seed catalogue which allows you to purchase seeds and sundries at reduced prices.

Children’s Play Area & BBQ site - located alongside the club house, on plot 30, complete with wildlife pond and summer barbecue area.

Fires - the Council permit Bonfires from October to April only on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 12.00 noon, see Council Allotment Rules (section 3.4). 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 - there are two sets on Folly Lane one at the town end the other up the slope opposite the petrol station. Gates should be locked at all times. Please take particular care that you have locked them when you leave at any time, even if others are still on site. Vandalism and fly tipping are very real risks, so shutting the gates DOES make a difference. The Council will provide you with a key when you register for a plot.

FLAG Steel Shed - next to plot 58, used only or storing communal tools (strimmers, mowers) plus FLAG BBQ equipment that have to be kept under lock and key.  Some FLAG committee members  and others have keys.

If you need access to the shed because you want to borrow FLAG tools  check our Tools Loans page for details.

Surplus Table - next to the steel shed, for everyone to use. Please leave any spare pots, plants, fruit, vegetables etc. that might be useful to someone else. Help yourself to anything there.

Foodbank - donations are collected on the Surplus Table, to be taken to the Foodbank each Tuesday around midday.  Newsletters and emails announce the season for Foodbank and seek volunteers to take the donations to the Trussell Trust Foodbank located at Christ Church, New Greens.

Notice Board  - Next to the steel shed and available for both FLAG and Council notices. Check with a committee member if you would like to post a notice.

Paths - it is the shared responsibility of both tenants to maintain the paths between plots, as part of your tenancy agreement with the Council. The main, larger paths are the Council's responsibility and their contractors cut the grass about six times a year. Please keep the main paths clear of obstructions so the contractors have a clear run and do not risk damaging their machinery.

Leaf, Woodchip and Cut Grass piles - FLAG volunteers arrange for these to be supplied by Council contractors. Leaves arrive in the autumn. Cut meadow grass is usually at the end of the summer. Woodchips (usually with some shredded green leaves content) arrive all year.

Pallets - sourced by FLAG volunteers are stacked at the petrol station end of the site. If there is demand for them we may be able to get more from the Council’s contractor. You can also pick them up from vegetable stalls on the markets around 16:15 on Wednesdays and Saturdays. One stall midway up the market is a particularly good source.

Compost - where plot holders have the space and sufficient volume of compostable materials, it makes sense to do so on the plot. But as this is often not practicable, especially on smaller plots, FLAG volunteers run communal compost bays at each end of the site where compostable green material  (including perennial weeds, dandelion roots, etc) can be added to the current  ‘in use’ composting bays.  Please throw your waste as far back as you can.

When a bay's contents has rotted down and been turned it can be mined for compost using the sloping mesh riddle sieves setup at each set of bays. Stones sieved out should be used to fill in holes and level the tracks. In particular it would be good to level up the trackway next to plot 2W.


Burnable only waste - Burnable ‘green’ waste that cannot or should not be composted (brambles, woody stems, branches large twigs, disease carrying dry material) should be added to the ‘burnable only’ waste bay at the petrol station end of the site.

Rather than burning wood and twiggy materials, some people plan to use these to build ‘dead hedges’ and other insect friendly and carbon holding features.  Do watch out that you are not thereby storing plant disease or sheltering rats.

Non-compostable Rubbish - metal, plastic, carpet, etc. should be taken home and placed in your own recycling or rubbish bins, or taken to the council tip. The Council no longer clear such material from the allotment sites, except in very exceptional circumstances.


Site Steward - this person is our main contact with the Council. If you have concerns about site matters do check with one of the FLAG committee members as the Council may already be scheduled to do something about it.


Work Parties -  FLAG volunteers organise work parties for tasks such as tree trimming, green waste and compost management, re-roofing the Clubhouse, general clearing up.  Refreshments are usually provided  to help volunteers recover.

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. Possible Neolithic flint tools have also been found on-site.

Water - is switched off over winter to prevent frost damage.  We encourage all those with sheds to fit a water butt. Mains water could become an additional charged item so we must all minimise tap water usage and use the water responsibly.

As the Council Allotment Rules (section 3.14) say,  hoses should only be used to top up storage butts or tanks on your plot and never be left running unsupervised. Never use sprinklers.

Leaking taps should be reported as soon as possible to one of the FLAG committee members, not to the Council. A FLAG member volunteer repairs taps and minor leaks. The Council repair site burst pipes.


Gardening Advice - since there is so much gardening and allotment advice readily accessible on the internet – RHS monthly to do lists are great, if embarrassing – so we do not aim to give much advice, but do just ask any allotmenteer you encounter. The RHS site also has specific information for allotments. Check out our FLAG Growing Tips section too.


Site Pests and other Animals

  • Pigeons love brassicas (cabbages, broccoli etc) and pretty much all seedlings, so protect with netting or twiggy deterrents.  And be sure to over-plant so enough are left for you.

  • Blackbirds and starlings love fruit, netting again is the most effective solution.

  • Squirrels are a scourge for some Sweet Corn growers.

  • Slugs;  if you take on an allotment, what do you expect? Click here for ideas on how to control their damage.

  • Foxes are based around the allotment site boundary and typically make a new earth each year for their cubs to be born in February.  The foxes are very friendly and do help control rats somewhat.

  • Hedgehogs are also about. They eat huge numbers of slugs, so areas in which they can shelter are fostered rather than cleared.

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