Newsletter January 2016

Whetstone Stray Allotments Newsletter January 2016

January Newsletter

December Bonfire

Festive Bonfire

On December 12th, we had a festive season bonfire celebration with refreshments. We hope to have more community bonfires celebrations this year.


to the Whetstone Stray Quiz Team : Dianne, Jean, Tasha, Les Coupland and Aidan, who came a very respectable 4th (out of 10 teams) in the BAF Quiz Night.

Working Party for Native Hedge Planting

We will meet at 10:00am on Sunday 17th January on Holden Road Field Path

Volunteering a couple of hours to join a working party is a great way to contribute to self management on our site. As always, the Working Party will be followed by a delicious lunch for all who take part. It helps to know how many are taking part to arrange the catering : please email or call Les to let us know: 07957 388033

Bee Keeping Course

To be eligible to keep bees on Barnet allotment sites, you must be affiliated to Barnet Beekeepers, and have at least 3 years experience of keeping bees.

Barnet Beekeepers are now enrolling new members to their in-depth beginners’ course – a year of beekeeping that will take you from your first look inside a hive to helping to harvest some beautiful Barnet honey.

The course is based on the theory and practice of beekeeping and includes hands-on experience of bees, hives and equipment.

The course starts on the 23rd January 2016 and is held in Wood Street, Barnet EN5. Please visit or email for more information.

Thank you

To everyone who contributed via seed money to our crowd funding for the new Community Plot. The money raised (over £260) will be used to buy tools for the Community Plot.


The shop will remain closed during January and February.

The Committee will be planning for the new year, including the rota for shop keeping duties on Sundays from 10:00am – 12:00 midday (Sunday 6th March to Sunday 30th October).

Please get in touch if you want to join the rota to run the shop. You will be paired with a Committee member with experience of running the shop, and it is a great way to get to know people, and the products in the shop.

Tree work

Tree work will be carried out around the site during January. This is part of our rolling programme of tree work each year.


In the current, very mild weather, there is a lot more growth than usual, insects such as bees and butterflies have been seen occasionally, and we also have all of the usual winter migrating birds such as redwings, to look out for.

Tips for January

January is a good time for any pruning work (fruit trees, fruit bushes, hedges), and planting trees, remember that only dwarf stock fruit trees are allowed on our site.

Disabled Access Composting Toilets Update

The second toilet has been delivered and installed (igloo shaped building on the main car park), it is a prototype, and the manufacturers still have some issues to resolve before it is ready to use.

If you want to use the toilet on Field 2, you must get in touch to arrange to meet with a Committee member, to get the key code and a short induction:

All those who have key codes will be responsible for keeping the toilets clean and tidy, and for collecting supplies as needed from the Trading Hut.

Rubbish Collection

Thank you very much to Les Coupland, Mark Clark and Raphael , who helped with rubbish collection in December. The extra hands really made a difference, getting rid of some eyesores in communal areas, including the woods beyond Field 3.

A reminder – do not put compostable materials out for the rubbish truck, it is of more benefit to you on your plot, and will not be removed.

News from BAF
Our Regional Representative of the National Allotment Society has sent through the attached flyer from the University of Sussex which may be of interest to your members.

The contact at the university is Janine Griffiths-Lee who gives the following information:

About the project:
For more information I have set up a Facebook page or I can be emailed directly at

1) You register your interest by 12th February 2016 by using the link on the Facebook group
2) You are sent a project pack, which includes a pack of wildflowers, sampling equipment and detailed instructions.
3) You sow the ‘Sow Wild!’ wildflower seeds in your allotment or garden in Spring 2016.
4) You sample insects in the wildflower patch in summer, using pan traps, and send them back to us.
5) We let you know what is pollinating your garden or allotment!
6) You repeat the sampling in Summer 2017.

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