Draft Management Plan

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PURPOSE OF THE PLAN.

To provide the Westthorn management Committe and all the plotholders with a guide to practical works which will maintain the whoile of the allotmentarea in good and safe condition, and to identify new opportunities to improve services to members over time.

APPROVAL OF THE PLAN.

This Management Plan was created by the 2022/2023 Committee. The original draft version of the plan was presented to plotholders at their meetings on October 1st 2023 and Novemebr 6th 2023. The feedback from the consultation meetings has been incorporated into this final version of the plan. The meetings were attended by 20 plotholders each time, with some plotholders attending both meetings.  Overall 33 plotholders contributed to making the Management Plan. There were 57 “active” plots in October and November 2023 which indicates that 61% of the membership were involved.

THE PLAN

The Plan is presented in three sections. Maintenance, Development Opportunities and Delivery.

MAINTENANCE

This covers plot frontages, The Paths and Common Areas.

Plot Frontages and Hedges.

A Plot Frontage is the strip of ground between the plot boundary with any path, and is often of privet hedging, fences or other  barriers, and the path edge defined by a timber retaining edge. To summarise, the Plan includes plot frontages at Plots 1 to Plot 23, and between Plot 24 and 43, and at plots 60 and 61. Plots 46 to 57 and plots 58, 59 and 62 to 66 have no plot frontages, and for the purposes of defining maintenance, are regarded as Common Areas ( see below). Plot 43 has only one plot frontage, alongside the path, but has 2 boundaries facing the ” car park” and storage container and these are to be regarded as Common Areas ( see below).

The Plan requires plot holders to maintain their hedges themselves, or with assistance, and should cut twice a year, being mindful of RSPB guidance regarding nesting birds. Hedges should not be allowed to grow beyond 7ft high ( as a guide only) but care should be taken to maintain the height of any hedge to a safe  ” manageable ” height. Hedge maintence is an item in the Plot Inspection criteria.

The Paths

There are three distinct lengtths of path in the path network. For reference they are named as the Main Path, the Woodland Path, anf the Cross Path. The first 2 are made of a hard aggregate material, the Cross Path is soft ground. The Plan regards all paths as public spaces, and to maintain public safety the Cross Path includes boundaries to plots 39 and 40, and 48  and 49.

Common Areas

There are two common areas.  ( NB It should be noted that The Field at the far eastern end of Westthorn is not in this Plan and is to be developed  in the future by GCC as new allotments).The largest public/ common area is ground bounded by the Main Gate, plots 58, 59, and 62 to 66 and plots 43 and 46. It is sometimes called the car park but will be referred to here as The Yard. The Yard includes planting tubs, a containe used as a store, and two “bays” used for storage of loose material.

The smaller common area lies outside plot 61, the Members Hut and the Toilet Block. The Plan states that all common areas are maintained by the Committee

 The Members Hut and Toilet Block

These two buildings are the responsibility of the Committee and this includes the maintenance  of the compost toilet as a well maintained, safe facility for use by the membership and visitors.

DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

1. THE YARD

1.1 Modify Plot 62 to provide space for material recycling, storage of supplies such as compost, manure, timber, logs, shredded bark.

1.2 Create space in Plot 62 to accomodate skip delivery and uplift

1.3 Relocate planting tubs to increase parking space

1.4 Investigate potential for community growing  space and potential for disabled persons to enjoy gardening at Westthorn.

2. THE MEMBERS HUT

2.1 Investigate potential to offer more digital services to members

2.2 Rearrange footpath access to toilet block/Members Hut/Plot 61 and provide a linked path layout suitable for everyone

3 THE FIELD

3.1 Work with GCC to develop the Field area for new allotments

DELIVERING THE PLAN

Delivering this plan, or any modification of it, will be the responsibility of the WAA Committee and WAA plotholders working together.   This plan is a long term vision for changes at Westthorn and, except for 3.0 The Field, will have to be carried out by Westthorn’s plotholders. The WAA’s funds are limited so the delivery may require applications to funding bodies. 

1.  WORKING PARTIES

The consultation process agreed to operate a working party system whereby plotholders would volunteer to participate throughout the year. Working parties would be organised every two weeks, on Saturdays, or more frequently. WAA will take out appropriate insurance every year for plotholders and guests and   Commitee members. 

2.  PLOT  INSPECTIONS

The WAA Committee will set up and maintain  a sub-Committee of plotholders, not members of the WAA Committee, to operate the Plot Inspection procedure outlined in the WAA Rules and Regulations

and report to the Committee as instructed.  

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