Glebelands Allotments

the home of North Finchley Allotment Society

May News 2017

Hello everyone.  It’s been lovely to see so many people back on site after the winter break.  Please remember, if you have not paid your rent yet, it was due (in full) by 10th May.  If yours is still outstanding you will be receiving reminders shortly.

The Committee would like to remind all parents that whilst children are always welcome, the allotment site is not a playground.  We have received a number of complaints about children running onto plots, crashing into crops and damaging frames built for crops to climb up. Nor is the site a safe place for play. Despite great efforts to clean it up in recent years some hazards, like broken glass or sharp metal objects, may remain –  sometimes hidden in long grass or undergrowth.

Perhaps even more worrying are the recent sightings of syringes.  The police have been informed. Please tell your children not to pick these up if they see any, but to tell you about them so you can report it to a member of the committee.

Site maintenance:  Work has been done recently to repair leaks, strim paths, clear vacant plots and remove rubbish from all parts of the site.  Three large van loads of assorted plastic, carpet, glass, metal and other materials  were taking to the recycling centre.  Following a cull of diseased, overgrown and ‘gifted’ (by the squirrels) trees on P-field we hired a JCB for a day to clear out the stumps and help dig out old carpets and rubble buried just below the surface. Thanks for their help with these activities to Peter Simpson, Tom McGovern, Peter Simpson, Miguel Espenica, Lee Chesters, and Peter James.


Tree stump clearing May '17

All plot plotholders are reminded that you are responsible for taking away your own rubbish, and also that glass and carpet are now prohibited on site. If you wish to put down a barrier to prevent weeds growing then please use a geotextile weed control material like Terram (available in the trading hut).

Terram weed cover fabric

Committee news:  Sadly, Alice Dickens has had to resign as NFAS Chair due to other commitments. The committee would like to record their thanks to Alice for her dedication and support over the past few years. The committee also welcomes Megan Walsh who kindly volunteered (and has been co-opted) to provide admin support while Pamela Marre is away for an extended period.

Tip of the month: Marigolds are a great companion for tomatoes, apparently they repel root-knot nematodes, tomato worm, whitefly and greenfly.  Why not try growing a few pots full of marigolds next to your tomatoes this year, and telling us about your results via our Facebook site ?


Marigolds & Tomatoes

April News – our new Community Plot

The Committee are pleased to announce that we now have a ‘Community Plot’ on P-Field. It is located at Plot P8, at the top end of P Field on the path leading directly from the car park.

The Community Plot has a number of raised beds of different sizes, a small fruit cage and a large greenhouse. Beds may be rented from between £5 – £10 a year and are reserved for people who have little or no experience of gardening (but are keen to learn) or who cannot work a larger plot due to a disability.

The plot is surrounded by friendly and experienced gardeners who are always happy to give sound advice.  Like all our members the people on the Community Plot will be responsible for keeping the plot tidy and its general maintenance, like cutting the grass.

Community Plot

It has been decided that anyone on P-field who doesn’t have a greenhouse on their own plot may use an area in the communal greenhouse – on the proviso that they don’t take it over! To avoid cases of mistaken identity, all pots and beds should be clearly labelled with the plot holder’s name or initials (and if they have one, the number of their other plot).

This is an exciting project and we really hope we can all work together to make it a great success.


Dear plot-holders,

As the first daffodils appear to brighten up the site may we wish you all a wonderfully fruitful year.


As agreed at last year’s AGM there will be NO increase in rents this year. Rent is set at £8.45 per pole and water at £2.30 per pole.  Compulsory Society Membership per tenant also remains at £10 per year.

Plot Charges:

10 poles will be £107.50 ground rent/water + £10 membership = £117.50

5 poles will be £53.75 ground rent/water + £10 membership = £63.75

Rent can be paid by cheque, cash or by direct bank transfer (BACS). Our bank details will be on the invoices for those wishing to make direct payment.  If you prefer to pay by cheque or cash then Jane Healy (the Treasurer) will be in the Site Office every Sunday from 2nd April 2017 through to 14th May 2017 from mid-day until 2.00 pm.  If you miss her in the Site Office then you can catch up with her on her plots on P-field. Plot charges must be paid in full by 14th May 2017, failure to pay your rent will be treated as self-termination.


The Police and Fire Services have advised that all plots should be numbered.  You can paint your plot number on your shed or collect a wooden board and stake (available at the Trading Hut – free).  Your invoice will have your plot number on it, but maps will also be put on the gate Notice Boards so that you can check what number your plot is.


Please be reminded that the site is not a playground. Everyone is happy to see children on site, but they must be accompanied at all times, and must not go onto other plots, or into sheds. Games which involve running around the fields are not permitted – please use the playing fields next to P field for this sort of play. Failure to control children may lead to an official warning about the plot-holder’s tenancy.


The Committee have received a number of complaints about dogs fouling on plots; unless you actually see a dog fouling on your plot it is impossible to identify the source (we do have several other four legged visitors, foxes and cats, every day!). Members who bring their dogs on site please be vigilant about clearing up after your pet (and be aware that not everyone on site is dog friendly), your dog should be kept under control and on your own plot if you wish to bring it on site.  Would plot holders please not take matters into their own hands over issues concerning other people’s pets – please come to the Committee if you are experiencing problems.


Following a number of tragic deaths in allotment sheds, the Fire Officer requires all large gas canisters to be removed from allotment sheds immediately. Failure to do this will result in termination of a plot-holder’s lease. Here is a link to the Fire Officer’s talk to the Barnet Federation of Allotment Societies:


On another sad note most of you will all have heard the terrible news about an elderly lady being murdered on the Colindale Allotment Site.  The circumstances surrounding this tragedy are not fully known at this time but a man has been arrested and charged with murder.  We have been advised to pass onto members the need to be vigilant whilst on site and to always notify someone you know when you are heading to the allotments.  This is not always easy to do, especially for those of us who live alone, but in the interests of personal safety please check with neighbouring plot holders when they will be around and time your visits to coincide with theirs so that you are not alone on site.

Please remember to lock the gates after you at all times – gates should not be left open for friends who may be coming along later, or any other reason.

In the case of an emergency you will need to be able to give our full address to any of the Emergency Services so please make a note of our address and postcode and have it somewhere handy:

Legion Way, North Finchley London N12 0QF   (or Christchurch Close for emergency access to P Field)


As most of you know, we do have a Website

and a Facebook page

(If these links don’t work, please copy and paste them into your browser, the addresses are correct).

All members are encouraged to check the Website for regular updates and if you are on Facebook then please join us. The Facebook page is just a fun way of sharing photographs and site news, and of course, you can join the group without having to commit to any intrusion into your personal life.

The Website has a useful article about harvesting rainwater and how to water sparingly without damaging your crops and all members are advised to read it – let’s make 2017 the year we REDUCE our ever-increasing water bill!


All members are reminded that you may borrow any of the equipment in the Trading Hut for the purpose of maintaining your plot.  No charge is made but we do ask that if you are borrowing our equipment you take a couple of minutes to mow all the paths around your plot, remembering that all plot holders are responsible for maintaining their own Southern footpath.  If you would like to borrow equipment please contact the NFAS e-mail address: pre-book) or look for any of the following members who have keys to the Trading Hut:

E Field: 

Lee Chesters (E97a, E95b)

Agi Wilton (E37, E38)

P Field:

Jane Healy (P54, P55)

Pamela Marre (P23a) – until mid – May only.

Tom McGovern (P6a, P7)

Peter Simpson (P56)

Alice Dickens (P1)

Graham Street (P19)



The Committee is made up entirely of volunteers, people who freely give up their time in order for all of us to enjoy the benefits of working our allotments.  As with all voluntary organisations we are always looking for more people to join us, but the truth is that unless more plot holders are willing to come forward there is a real risk that the site may not be able to continue in its current form.  If you are able to spare just a couple of hours a month then please do volunteer. If you do think you would like to join the Committee, or have any concerns that you wish to raise with them please find below a list of all current members – we all very approachable and welcome the opportunity to get to know everyone on site.

Chair: Alice Dickens

Treasurer (and acting Secretary from April 1st): Jane Healy

Secretary until March 31st: Pamela Marre

Members on E Field:

Lee Chesters

Carol Menashy (until March 31st)

Roddy Stylianou

Members on P Field:

Noel Callinan

Peter James

Tom McGovern

John O’Reilly

Graham Street



Finally, the Committee would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Peter Simpson and Tom McGovern for all the work they have put into tidying up P-field this winter.  The field looks great for the start of the new season! We would also like to say a special thank you to all the retiring members of the committee, especially to Peter Simpson for all the years of tireless effort  he has put into improving conditions on both fields,  to Carol Menashy for all the years she has spent on the Committee and to Pamela Marre, who has enthusiastically served as our Membership Secretary this year.  We hope Pamela has a great time in Germany this year and look forward to her return in 2018.