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Dorridge & District Gardening Club & Bentley Heath Allotments

How to apply for an allotment

The Bentley Heath allotment site is managed by Dorridge & District Gardening Club. It is an excellent site on free-draining loamy soil. Our plot holders are a friendly group of gardeners who are only too happy to pass on their advice and knowledge and share plants. There are three water taps on site and three compost areas. The site is secured by a locked gate accessible only by allotment holders. The site is monitored by our Allotment Steward and it is important that plots are well cultivated. Contact our Allotment Steward for information about applying for a plot (see Contact Us page)
Each allotment site in the Borough has site representatives who attend 3 or 4 meetings a year with the Parks Department Officers when the overall running of the sites is discussed. The Site Representatives for Bentley Heath Allotments are listed on the Contact Us page. More information is also available on the Solihull Council website

Costs

Annual fees:

  • Full plot under 60s £40
  • Full plot over 60s £20
  • Half plot under 60s £20
  • Half plot over 60s £10

In addition there is a £10 membership fee to DDGC

Care of your plot

As well as caring for your plot, the paths on either side of the plot are a joint responsibility. It is part of the agreement which you sign to play your part in keeping both your plot and the paths neat and tidy. Strimming of paths by the Council takes place once a month during spring, summer and autumn, as below. This is not enough to keep the paths looking reasonably trim throughout the season, however, so they do need to be mown periodically. Our site is one of the best in the Borough and we are proud of that and wish to keep it that way. Unfortunately there is no power on site so any mechanical tools have to be either petrol driven or battery powered

Time, Tools and Equipment

You will need the same tools and equipment that you would need for a garden but the complication is the lack of power to the site. Consequently you will need a mower or a strimmer that is battery powered or petrol driven for maintaining the paths in between the monthly strimming carried out by the Council. However, in view of the cuts being inflicted on local authorities we cannot assume that the strimming programme will continue beyond this year so plot holders should aim to make themselves as independent as possible of these services.
Most of our plots are now half plots and we reckon that a half plot will need approximately fours per week of your time during spring ,summer and autumn. There is a demand for plots so we need to ensure maximum usage. We appreciate that, at times, plot holders may get into difficulties. If you do, then please talk to one of the Contact Us, we will help where we can.
If we have not heard from a plot holder and the plot looks neglected then the holder will receive a 'yellow card' initially. If the plot is still not cultivated then a 'red card' will be issued indicating that the plot holder needs to take urgent action

Water Conservation

There are three water points located along the central drive. The water is switched off during the winter to avoid frost damage to the system which can be expensive to repair. The use of hoses to water plots is discouraged. Sooner or later our water supply will be metered so we need to be prepared for that. Some people further away from the water points have water butts which can be filled by hoses. Previously the Council did supply some water butts but now plot holders are expected to supply their own. Butts are available at discounted rates to residents of Solihull from Get Composting

Strimming

Grassed areas, pathways between plots, fence lines and parking areas are to be strimmed monthly between April and October to maintain access and keep sites tidy. For effective strimming the grass needs to be at least two inches long otherwise the strimmers may leave unsightly gouge marks. If you mow the paths by your allotment yourself please advise the committee (Contact Us) so that your paths can be excluded from the strimming schedule.

Dates to be confirmed

Rubbish Disposal

The Council has ceased collecting rubbish as it contained too high a percentage of green waste which should be composted on-site. Plots should generate mainly green waste so you can either compost it yourself or put it in the appropriate communal bay (please see the Compost Code on the Facilities page)

Security

We have had problems with fly tipping and the theft of produce so it is vital that the gates are kept locked when there are no plot holders present and just closed when there are other plot holders on site. Whatever time of day you leave, please lock the gates if there is no-one else on site but please do make sure that you are not locking anyone in! Not everyone comes by car so you cannot assume that because there are no cars visible then there is no-one on site.

When opening the gates please open them outwards and locate the rods into the holes provided

Working Parties

The site does need some maintenance so there are occasional working parties to do this. If you have put your name down to help with working parties then you will be contacted when needed. We do try to spread these duties out