The National Allotment Society is working to provide clarity for our members on what the virus outbreak and ensuing impacts will mean for Allotment Holders. As more information become available, we will be updating our advice to our members, please read the Q & As below on how the outbreak is affecting Allotment Sites and their use.
UPDATED 13/05/2020 – (AGM’s, communal areas – advice remains the same, plot allocations, time and driving)
NAS Q & A On Allotments and Social Distancing
Protect yourself and your family
We are all living through a crisis, the likes of which the country has not experienced since war time. The community spirit that exists on allotment sites is now vitally important. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times and take all the steps you can to reduce the risk of contagion from the Covid- 19 virus when you visit the plot.
Covid-19 – The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. The droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and they quickly fall and contaminate floors and surfaces.
Smaller airborne particles can remain in the air for some time. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of a person who has Convid-19- hence the 2m social distancing requirement, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
Can I still work my allotment during the Covid-19 lockdown?
Yes, allotments are a great way of both getting exercise and obtaining food during this crisis.
Can I visit the allotment with my family?
Yes, government guidelines state that you can exercise with members of your household
How long can I stay at the plot?
The Government have now removed the limit on exercise time.
How can I ensure my family’s and everyone else’s safety at the plot?
Do not attend the plot if you have coronavirus symptoms or a family member is self-isolating
Take a flask of hot water, soap and paper towels to the plot with you (cold water will work too).
Use hand sanitiser (should be 60% alcohol content) before entering the site and opening any gate locks
Wash hands for at least 20 seconds after closing the lock, dry with a paper towel
The most effective part of hand washing is the drying using preferably paper towel to remove the layer of dead skin scales – on which virus and bacteria sit. Paper towel to compost heap.
DO NOT touch your face after using anything that has been touched by other people- use an elbow to work the push taps.
Wash your hands again for 20 seconds, dry with a paper towel before opening and closing the lock to leave the site
Use hand sanitiser after closing the lock
Wash hands when you get home
DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart
Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
Do not share tools
Do not wash your hands in water troughs
Can I drive to my allotment?
Yes you can drive to your allotment
I am self-isolating or shielding, cannot go to the allotment and worried about losing my plot, what should I do?
Please make sure that you inform your Council Allotment Officer or Allotment Association that you are unable to visit the site, preferably in writing, so that they can make allowances for your situation.
12/05 /20 – All communal facilities including toilets should remain closed
It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women.
AGM’s at the present time the government has prohibited by law all public gatherings of more than two people, this means that Associations should postpone their annual meetings until restrictions have been lifted. The FCA will not take action against incorporated bodies whilst restrictions are in place. If it is allowed by your constitution and all your plot-holders are able to participate it may be possible to hold a remote AGM. Contact email@example.com for support.
It is likely that a percentage of plot-holders (who are self-isolating or shielding) will be unable to visit their plots, these plot-holders should not be penalised at subsequent plot inspections.
Perhaps a buddy system could be put in place, untended plots could at least be covered.
Restricting access to your site by installing gates or physical barriers (strategically placed objects)
Make sure gates are closed and, if possible, locked when not in use.
Click on the link to read about social distancing
Click on the link to read some useful advice about hygiene Germ Defence
Government advice about the Coronavirus is updated on a regular basis at this link.
For NHS information and advice CLICK HERE