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Many people believe it's illegal to sell produce from their allotment. This is not strictly true. What is true is that the 1922 Allotments Act prohibits any trade or business being conducted on an allotment garden or part thereof.
An allotment garden must, by definition, "be wholly or mainly cultivated for the production of vegetable or fruit crops for consumption by the occupier or his family." This definition means that allotment gardens cannot be operated as market gardens or nurseries.
However, it is perfectly legal to sell surplus produce from an allotment garden, and we would encourage anyone who has surplus fruit and vegetables to sell them to the public, whether via local markets, shops or other means. This could include produce made from fruit and vegetables such as jam or chutney.
Similarly, surplus plants could also be sold. This would avoid waste, and ensure that as many people benefit from the produce from allotments as possible, as well as helping to reduce the cost of running an allotment. Alternatively, you could raise funds for your community group, Allotments Association or a favourite charity.
- For more information on this subject, including your obligations regarding food safety, visit Sustainweb website.
- For further information on how to rent a pitch on one of the Council's markets visit our Markets in Bristol page.
Tenants may arrange their own manure supplies to sites with vehicle access. Care must be taken not to cause damage to facilities on the site or neighbouring plots. Manure should not be left across haulingways or access paths to block vehicle or pedestrian access. We will remove it if it causes an obstruction.
Adding farmyard manure and garden compost can contribute small amounts of nutrients. It can, when mixed into the soil, attract worms to improve soil structure and stimulate the activity of soil micro-organisms. These break down organic matter and release a balance of nutrients for uptake by plant roots. Organic matter such as leaves or compost also helps to retain moisture and reduce the need for watering.
An alternative to compost heaps is to dig plant remains direct into a trench. Left over the winter months, worms will ensure that it has all disappeared by spring, and improved the soil in the process.
E coli advice
Due to the risk associated with E coli 0157 linked to farms in the UK, we would like to issue the following advice regarding crops on allotments:
- No fresh manure should be applied directly to plots but should be composted for at least 12 months prior to applying
- Manure should be thoroughly dug into the ground before planting any crops
- Hands should be thoroughly washed following the handling of manure
- All crops should be thoroughly washed after picking
- Particular care should be taken that young children should not be allowed to handle animal manure
For more information and guidance, please see the following Food Standards Agency guidelines on Managing Farm Manures for Food Safety and the Health and Safety Executive information sheet about Avoiding ill health at open farms.
Alert - contaminated manure
Beware contaminated manure. A chemical herbicide called Aminopyralid which is found in a herbicide called Forefront and which is used by local farmers has been finding its way onto Bristol's allotments. It is important to ask the farmer or stables where you source manure that the pasture the horses were grazed on (or their hay was cut from) has not been treated with this herbicide. Find out more from the FCFCG website.
Please note that the we can provide leaves to sites with vehicle access during the autumn, as we are anxious to ensure that they are delivered locally for allotment and garden use rather than transporting them to landfill and other sites.
Please be aware that deliveries may not be possible on some sites with poor vehicle access.
Pesticides are primarily chemical substances prepared or used to destroy harmful pests. By their very nature pesticides pose a potential hazard to the user, others in the area during and after use, and can have a bad effect on the environment if used incorrectly.
The actual risk can be reduced by the careful choice of pesticide, the time and methods of use, weather conditions and the knowledge of the person using the pesticide. Chemical pesticides should only be used as a last resort.
- weedkillers (herbicides)
- agents to kill fungal growth (fungicides)
- insect killers (insecticides),
- rodent (rat) bait (rodenticides),
- soil treatments
- wood preservatives
- and a number of other preparations
It is always wise to check before buying and using.
Pesticides are used by members of the public, often in the garden, and the potential hazard can be the same as for pesticides used in agriculture and other large scale operations.
Pesticides used by the public are likely to have been obtained from the local garden centre or hardware store, and be approved, with information on the label.
Please ensure that you read all the information on the label.
You need to know how you can protect yourself, others, children and animals, and how to safeguard our environment.
Before selecting a pesticide consider the following:
- Always identify the pest before any treatment is applied.
- Do you really need a pesticide?
- Can the problem be solved by changing environmental conditions, for example cleaning up or preventing damp?
- Is there a way to deal with the pest without using a pesticide, for example using a hoe or hand fork, cultivation or catch and trap?
- Chemical pesticides may often kill beneficial organisms which help to keep pests under control.
If a pesticide is to be used take account of the following:
- Pesticide sprays based on fatty acids are effective, relatively safe and environmentally friendly.
- Pesticides based on synthetic pyrethroids are generally less toxic than many others.
- Pesticides containing organophosphorous chemicals (-pos) are potentially hazardous because of their effect on the nervous system and are to be avoided where possible.
- Water based wood preservatives are a good choice when animals occupy the adjoining area or plants are growing nearby.
- Always seek professional help with a problem with rodents (rats).
- Ensure that any chemicals are used only on your own plot and not allowed to drift onto neighbouring plots
How can I be safe?
- Always read the label when selecting a pesticide.
- Always follow the instructions exactly.
- Always wear impervious gloves when using pesticides and wash your hands immediately after use.
- Always wash off splashes as soon as they occur.
- Always store pesticides in a safe place, out of reach of children, and always keep in their original container.
- Never use a pesticide in wet and windy conditions and avoid spray drifting off the target area.
- Never eat, drink or smoke when handling a pesticide.
- Never use pesticides in a confined space.
- Never use pesticides near food and food preparation.
- Never reuse an empty container.
Always take care with the disposal of pesticides, working solutions and empty.
Avon and Somerset Police offer advice to allotment holders about security on sites:
- Do not leave expensive items such as machinery in allotment sheds as these tend to be targeted by thieves.
- Always use coach bolts to secure hinges and hasps to doors.
- Always use closed shackle padlocks to secure sheds as these are more difficult to cut with bolt cutters.
- If you can, plant thorny shrubs such as hawthorn, pyracantha, berberis or brambles around vulnerable perimeter fencelines to prevent access to sites.
Bristol Parks Brunel House St George's Road Bristol, BS1 5UY Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm
Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm
- Email: email@example.com
- Work: 0117 922 3719