December 2022 Allotment News

Rents due on January 1st – how to pay

Time to start thinking about paying your rent for next year. If you are ending your tenancy please let us know as soon as possible, so that we do not send reminders. 

Rents are the same as 2022 but subscriptions have increased to £3 per member. The £3 is to cover our membership of National Allotments Society and its insurance scheme. 

Important note – each adult who works the plot needs to pay £3 per person to be covered by the insurance. Therefore if a couple, family  or two friends work a plot together they each should pay £3 to get insurance cover.

More information on how to pay on our websitelink here. Any queries on rent, insurance or subscriptions, please contact the treasurer…..

Treasurer contact details:

Mr Michael Thurland, 274 Windmill Avenue, Kettering

07971 492 632


Poultry Regulations in Force

The bird’ flu (Avian influenza) epidemic has lead to Government Regulations being imposed on all poultry. Please be aware of biosecurity measures (aka “chicken lockdown”)

Dogs on allotments

Most dog owners are responsible and considerate. This message is not intended for them; apologies for stating the obvious. There have been unpleasant incidents recently at Margaret Road, so…  Please remember our rules – dogs to be kept on a lead on allotment land. There have been some incidents recently at Margaret Road where dogs have been unleashed and have fouled allotment land. Dog walkers must bag up and safely remove any dog waste – take it home or dispose of in an approved dog waste bin. 

Mini-plots at Scott Road

One way of reducing our waiting lists and helping get people allotments is creating mini plots. This is now going ahead at Scott Road. An area near the top car park is being turned into 6 mini plots – smaller than 5 poles, but at least something for new people to start their allotment gardening experience for 2023 instead of waiting for another year on our growing lists. 

Don’t be a stuck-in-the-mud!

Please respect the signs when ridings are closed to vehicles in winter. Getting stuck in the mud is no fun and leaves the ridings in a terrible state for everyone else.

Break-ins and vandalism at Margaret Road

Last month there were several break-ins at Margaret Road. Please be vigilant for suspicious visitors and intruders. We suggest that tools are not left in sheds, take them home for winter – especially hammers that may be used by vandals to smash into someone else’s shed.

New research evidence – “compostable” plastics aren’t compostable.

See this article

Slug problems – some ideas on this page

See this page for ideas on how to control slugs. Now that the rain has returned and conditions are wet the slugs have emerged after their summer hiding in the drought.

Stay safe on your plot and remember the basics


November 2022 Allotment News

Rent for 2023 – some Good News

The committee has decided that the Rents for 2023 will be the same as 2022 – no increase.

Membership Subscriptions 2023 – a small increase

It is necessary to increase the membership subscriptions for 2023. The current membership is £2 per year and this will increase to £3 per year in January. This increase is necessary because our subscription to the National Allotments Society is £3 per member and we need to cover this cost. We get many benefits from the National Allotments Society including members’ liability insurance. We hope you agree that this is good value.

New email address for our Treasurer:-

If you have any queries about your rent payment or subscriptions, please use the new email address

Bird Flu (Avian Influenza) – new Government restrictions – click on link below

Fun Competition at Margaret Road

The annual competition for largest marrows, pumpkin etc was held on Sunday October 23rd and was great success despite very heavy rain earlier in the morning. The pouring rain stopped ten minutes before the event and the hardy gardeners gathered, Rebecca provided some lovely iced buns and a good laugh was had by all. Thank you to all who turned up, including the giant cabbage – an idea for next year. Results are below:

Early November Bonfires

The 5th of November is a traditional time for bonfires. The committee recognises this fact and has issued updated guidance and clarification on bonfires. The clarification is that bonfires are banned on Sundays; there had been some inconsistency and confusion on this, so the committee has confirmed the ban bonfires on Sundays (BBQs are still allowed)

Updated Bonfire guidance summary – “Dos” and “Don’ts”


  • No fires on Sundays (BBQs are allowed, even on Sundays)
  • No fires that produce lots of smoke
  • No fires when the wind is blowing smoke towards houses
  • Do not burn wet or green waste, only dry woody material
  • Do not bring material to the allotment to burn – take it to the tip
  • Never burn plastic or other non-woody material
  • Don’t allow fires to spread, or risk damage to sheds etc


  • Ask your neighbours before lighting a fire, check they don’t mind
  • Talk to field stewards about best practice
  • Risk Assess the hazards and have enough water ready to douse the fire if needed
  • Only burn dry woody material
  • Compost any green waste, weeds, crop residues
  • Take any other waste to the tip
  • Check the wind direction and speed
  • Only start a fire if the wind is blowing away from houses
  • Thorny woody prunings may be burned when dry, but might be useful next to the wire fence to improve security, ask stewards about this
  • Avoid fires if at all possible

Resource Centre at Grange Shops

Please consider donating any surplus crops to the Resource Centre at the Grange shops. The Resource Centre provides hot meals at a very modest cost on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Please donate on these days.

Disciplinary Policy

The committee has decided to amend slightly the Society’s Disciplinary Policy. There is an additional paragraph, copied below in italics

  • Bringing the Allotment Society into disrepute will be considered as a disciplinary matter as will abusive language or threatening behaviour towards any person.  Members, plot holders, stewards, committee members and visitors have the right to feel safe on allotments and not be subjected to swearing or intimidation of any kind.

First Aid on allotments

There are risks and hazards on allotments, so please stay safe. If you are injured on your plot the committee recommends the following 3 things: 1. before going inform family members of your whereabouts to reduce the risk of lone working 2. carry a mobile phone to call for help (112 is better than 999 on a mobile) 3. Have a first aid box in your shed or car

News from the National Allotments Society- click on the link below–Isuv56Cz_qI

Vermin Control Suggestions – click on the link below

A final thought…

Remember that having an allotment is an enormous privilege. Thousands of people in the UK are on waiting lists, the average wait is 7 years. Those of us who are lucky enough to rent an allotment can do our bit by looking after the environment and being good citizens.

October 2022 Allotment News

Autumn Arrives and water turned off

Our mains water is turned off in October for the winter. Mains water will be turned on again in April. Meanwhile, we encourage everyone to collect any rain (free water from the sky!). Consider buying more thousand-litre IBC water tanks from Windermere Logs

Margaret Road Fun Day

Sunday 23 October at 12 – the fun competition – eg biggest pumpkin, longest runner bean, ugliest vegetable… A great way to meet other plotholders and have fun.

Cup Winners and awards event

A successful social event was held on Friday 16 September at the Athletic Club in Rockingham Road. the Bridgstock Cup was presented to Sarah and Dale, this year’s winners for the best plot from our 4 sites. Other awards were presented, including best newcomers, best in field for our 4 sites.

the cup being presented to Sarah and Dale for best plot.

Time to plant Garlic

This is the perfect season to plant garlic cloves. One of the easiest crops to grow, they will be ready to harvest next July

Compost delivered to your plot from C&R

Pumpkin Talk – from our Secretary in aid of Charity

This event is for the Mayor of Kettering – Thursday 27th October, 7pm at Council HQ- Bowling Green Road


Please remember to keep the grass ridings next to your plot mowed and in good condition.This is one of our rules- Rule 34

Stating the Obvious – keep calm and carry on cultivating

It’s stating the obvious, but needs to be repeated from time to time. Please remain courteous and kind to fellow allotment members. Any incidents of abusive or threatening behaviour reported to the committee will be treated as a disciplinary issue.


We have had a complaint about smoky bonfires at Margaret Road. Check out our guidance and policy on fires. We do not allow smoky, polluting fires and the committee is working on ways to reduce the numbers of fires on our sites.

Stay Safe

London Road Garden Shop – potato catalogue out now

You can now order your potatoes for 2023 from the London Road shop.

Fire ban lifted

The committee has agreed to lift the temporary fire ban on condition that all safety precautions are followed, as detailed on our website

  1. Warn your neighbours well in advance. They are much less likely to complain. This gives them a chance to bring washing in and/or close doors and windows.

  2. Make sure you locate your bonfire as far away from neighbouring properties (and fences) as possible.

  3. Think about the weather conditions, will the wind blow the smoke directly onto your neighbour’s plot or house?

  4. Avoid burning when people are likely to want to enjoy their gardens, weekends and early evenings for example.

  5. NEVER leave your bonfire unattended . You risk a visit from the Fire Brigade and being billed for their call out fee. Make sure you have a means of extinguishing the fire if it gets out of hand.
 Minimum of 2 buckets of water.
  6. Only burn dry materials and NEVER EVER burn old tyres, foam, painted or other treated wood such as MDF, chipboard or any kind of plastic.
  7. NEVER use petrol or lighter fluid to light the fire or encourage it to burn.

September 2022 Allotment News

Awards and Social Evening – Friday 16th

You are all welcome – bring friends and family members. On Friday 16th September at 7:30pm we hold our awards evening at the Athletic Club in Rockingham Road. There is a bar where you can purchase drinks. We shall be presenting the Bridgstock Cup and other awards, including best newcomers and best in field for our 4 sites across Kettering. An opportunity to socialise with your fellow plot-holders.

Wonky Vegetables? – show and tell

As part of our social gathering and awards ceremony (above), please bring along some wonky veg. This is not a competition, but a chance to have fun at our social get-together.

More news on wonky veg

This story on BBC News….

Temporary Bonfire ban remains in place for now

The committee temporarily banned all fires last month because of the drought and heatwave. This temporary ban is under regular review. As soon as conditions allow for safe bonfires, the committee will lift the ban and announce on Facebook. Remember to follow all of our safety guidelines with all fires. Click on this link for more guidance.

Peat compost will be banned soon

More news on UK government ban due in 2024

Agenda items

Committee meetings are always busy and productive. At our next meeting some of the agenda items include: first aid on our allotments, defibrillators, our our bonfire policy, policy on fences around plots, setting our rents and membership subscriptions for 2023. If you have any comments on these items, please contact us.

Drought Alert!

Temporary ban on bonfires and BBQs

The committee has decided that the current dry and hot weather necessitates a temporary ban on fires. This includes bonfires, barbeques or any other fire on allotment land.

The Fire Service have issued warnings about the danger of fires getting out of control. Recent news reports of deadly fires are a serious concern. Please respect this temporary ban.

When it rains enough to make a fire reasonably safe the committee will lift the temporary ban.

August 2022 Allotment News

Last chance to enter the Cup competition

The judges are now touring our 4 sites to make their decision. Please contact the judging team urgently if you want to nominate someone to be considered for best plot or best newcomer award.If you want to enter, please email the judging team on

Cup Presentation and Social Event – Friday 16 Sept @7:30pm

There will be a social event at which the cup will be presented to the winner and other prizes too. Including best newcomer award on Friday 16th September 7:30pm at the Athletic Club, Rockingham Road. All members welcome.

News from National Allotments

Click on the link for the latest news magazine from the National Allotments Society

Another Competition- at Wicksteed Park

This year on August 20th we will be hosting a 1920s Regatta to celebrate Wicksteed Park being open for over 100 years!

With this we will be holding a classic vegetable growing competition with 3 categories:

•             Giant Vegetables

•             Perfectly Imperfect Vegetables

•             Flawless Vegetables

We would love to invite any member of the community who has an interest in growing vegetables and would like to take a shot at a friendly competition.

It is completely free to enter and includes a prize will be awarded to the winner of each category.

Introducing a classic community competition, the vegetable showdown.

Prizes will be awarded to the winner of each category.

For an entry form, please contact the Community and Heritage Department at

Entry forms must be submitted by Monday, August 15th

Same day entries will not be accepted.

Courtesy and Kindness

The committee has received news of a few examples of poor behaviour recently. One member has had water removed (stolen) from his barrels. Another member was shouted at for (correctly) locking the gate. Such incidents will be treated as disciplinary matters by the committee. Please remember to be kind and courteous to all human beings, including your allotment neighbours!

Please remain vigilant and safe.

We have had a report of vegetables being stolen from Margaret Road. If you see anything suspicious, please get your phone out and take photos and report to your field stewards. Please be careful to remain safe, so don’t risk anything that might risk confrontation etc


We are experiencing drought and our crops are wilting. The desert (formerly known as the allotment) has developed cracks in the soil. Adding thick mulch to the soil back in the winter has certainly helped; see the page on Coping with Droughts and Deluges. Please remember that one of our biggest expenses every year is Anglian Water for mains water. Please use mains water as sparingly as possible and consider investing in more rain collecting on your plot.

Prices Rising

We have been informed of new higher prices for thousand-litre water tanks (IBC) delivered by Roy at Windermere logs. These water tanks are now £60

Contact Roy at Windermere Logs or phone Roy on 07515 915 197

Thousand litre IBC water tanks now £60

Alpaca Manure price increased to £2.50 per bag. Details on our website at

National Allotments Week

National Allotments Week is in August. Click on this link from National Allotments to find any events

Talks by Russell

Russell has been asked to give some of his gardening talks on Mirthy. If you are interested, please click on the link below

July 2022 Allotment News

Save the date! 16 September at 7:30pm

Please put Friday 16th September into your calendars now. An exciting event in the evening -details below.

Cup Judging 2022

Our annual award of the Bridgstock Cup is being judged this month. The judges have been appointed by the committee to give representation from all of our 4 sites in Kettering. If you want to enter, please email the judging team on

Cup Criteria

he judges award points for various allotment features. The plot with the most points wins the cup. There are also some runner-up and highly commended prizes and best newcomer of 2022. The criteria are summarised on  on our website and below:

a neat and tidy weed-free plot, a variety of produce, vegetables, soft fruit, flowers, evidence of composting, collection of rain water for irrigation and general good gardening practices.

Cup Presentation and Social Event – Friday 16 Sept @ 7:30pm

There will be a social event at which the cup will be presented to the winner and other prizes too. Including best newcomer award on Friday 16th September 7:30pm at the Athletic Club, Rockingham Road. All members welcome.

Spade for sale – proceeds to the Allotment Society

One of our members has kindly donated a Terrex spade in very good condition. If you want to buy it, please contact Phil on – an offer of over £35 is expected

Terrex spade – offers to Phil

New Gate, same rules

The house builders near Scott Road are finally getting close to completing their construction. They have installed a new gate. The same rule applies and the gate must be kept locked at all times. Never leave the gate unlocked when entering or leaving the allotments please. The new gate is the property of North Northants Council.

Streetfood Saturdays at Kettering Market Place -join in

We know that our Allotment Society has a wide diversity of members. Some of us may wish to join in with sharing our cultural heritage, hobbies etc at the monthly events at Kettering Market Place? Bring your flag on August 27th. See the images below for more.

Hazard of the Month – beware Hogweed!

Warning – shocking images if you click on the link below, but better to be warned and avoid this plant

Carry on Composting!

A great website….

Talks by Russell

Russell has been asked to give some of his gardening talks on Mirthy. If you are interested, please click on the link below

June 2022 Allotment News

Cup Judges appointed

The committee has appointed the team of judges for 2022. The judges are representative of all of our four sites. The judging team will tour the fields and make their deliberations in July, so there is time for plotholders to get their plots in tip-top condition. The criteria used by judges are published on our website,(click on link).

Save the date! – Cup Winner Presentation and social event

Friday 16th September 7:30pm at the Athletic Club, Rockingham Road. An event to present the Bridgstock Cup, other awards (including best newcomer award) and enjoy a fun social event. All members welcome.

Continued improvements at Margaret Road

Many thanks to the team of stewards at Margaret Road (Peter, Gosha, Becky and John) for the continued improvements there. Rubbish has been removed, including old car tyres which are not allowed on allotments and actually toxic waste. Thanks again.

now safely removed for recycling, and no longer an allotment hazard.

Price increases – compost and IBCs

Unfortunately the quality compost from Chris Foster now costs more. A full trailer load (approximately a cubic metre) now costs £45 delivered to your plot. Contact Chris Foster on 07956 442 043

On a similar theme the cost of a thousand-litre IBC water tank now costs £50 including delivery, phone Roy on 07515 915 197 More details on the discounts and offers available are on this link.

Policy Reminders- please follow the Rules and Policies

Please remember to follow our rules and policies on bonfires and poultry, as published on our website. Click on links to read. If you have any questions or queries, please ask your steward or contact us.

Recent Media Coverage – The Times and Times Radio

Scott Road member Maysie in the Times newspaper

Follow-up on Times Radio- click on link

Stay vigilant for HAZARDS!

Please remember that fungal spores can be dangerous. See more hazards and risk assessments in our Health and Safety pages on our website

Soil is Amazing – please look after it

This article gives some insights into the wonderful ecosystem that is beneath our feet.

Another article explains how some farmers are working to improve their soil, a small section is copied below:

It is difficult to define regenerative farming, but at its centre is improving the health of the soil, which is key to a robust farming system. The main principles include limiting soil disturbance, growing a diversity of plants all year and keeping roots in the soil as much as possible.

Burrell says: “Every time you plough, you are turning a whole living world upside down, and they’ve got to start again. If you keep doing that for long enough, you’re going to kill everything off. When you think of it like that, the regenerative agricultural movement just makes complete sense.”


May 2022 Allotment News

No more concrete please

Our new rule, as agreed at the AGM aims to reduce future waste disposal problems. We do not want our beautiful soil covered in slabs and concrete, which reduces the area for crops. See rule number 43

Talk at Wicksteed Park on 7th May, 2pm
Kettering Civic Society Members £7
Non-members £10
To book please phone 01536 723682
Email: kettcivic&

Liquid Alpaca Manure – new price

We have been informed that the price of the ‘Alpacatastic’ product has changed, now £3 per litre of 2 litres for £5. More details on our website’s manure page

Security on our sites – keep gates locked

We have had several reports of the main gates at Scott Road being left wide open and unlocked. Please lock the gates every time.

Flags flying high at Scott Road

Feedback from members

Members have contacted the committee with concerns about the following. Please remember to follow these rules too

  1. Children to be supervised at all times. There have been reports of children running onto other plots and scaring chickens. The hens then stopped laying.
  2. No smoky bonfires, follow our policy and guidance
  3. Lock the gates – see above
follow the rules

Improvements continue at Margaret Road

Before and After photos below


A great film from National Allotments Society

benefits of allotments

Transformation at Windmill Avenue

A new member at Windmill Avenue has transformed a neglected plot. See photos below, before and after


Do fruit stickers keep you awake at night?

Calculating the financial benefits of allotments

Click on the link for a fascinating report from Brighton and Hove allotments. Listen out to BBC Radio 4 Moneybox live on Wednesday 4th May for one of our members broadcasting…

April 2022 Allotment News

Successful AGM

Our 103rd AGM was held on Wed 9th March and all business was conducted successfully. A full report, including minutes etc is on our website, link below

Event in Desborough

We have been informed of a Gardeners’ Question Time event in Desborough. 

Jonny Amos from BBC Radio Northampton is hosting the event with the help of local panelists. There is a licensed bar and tickets are £5, these can be obtained from the library or  by email or by telephone 01604 368169 .

Any queries please do not hesitate to contact Lesley Draycott on 01536 762606

New rules now apply 

At the AGM, the assembled members voted unanimously to modify one rule, Rule 43 and the additional clarification is the following wording: The maximum size of any new shed is 10 feet by 8 feet. Concrete or hardcore bases for structures is not permitted, likewise concreting-in of posts or hard standing driveways on plots, excessive slabs, uPVC windows and doors are not permitted. Slabs are limited to a reasonable path only.

New Treasurer Elected- welcome Mike

At the AGM we elected a new treasurer, Mr Mike Thurland. Many thanks to our retiring treasurer, John Burn. Contact details for Mike are on our rents page

Do you want to pay extra for your green/grey bin?

The Council (North Northants) is asking whether we want to pay more to have our green waste bins emptied. There is a survey for us to complete, link below

Thanks to Peter and Andrew

Many thanks to Peter and Andrew for clearing so much rubbish from the Margaret Road site and tidying the hedge. Some hedge tree seedlings (whips) have also been planted along the cleared fence. See photos below, also of old tyres (toxic waste, now removed and sent for recycling)


Follow the new brick road!

Many thanks to Jeakins Weir builders for completing the road to the Scott Road allotments. After many months of difficult conditions for vehicles, it is wonderful to be able to access our allotments on a proper road.

Use it or lose it?

Our waiting lists continue to grow and are moving very slowly. Please remember that if you do not cultivate your plot, your tenancy may be ended and the plot re-let to someone waiting ( see our Rules 31-33) . Cultivation needs to be thorough, not just a couple of beds with the rest of the plot unused. See our cultivation policy and guidelines for more details.

If you are having difficulty maintaining your plot, contact us or your field steward and consider relinquishing some land (or the whole plot) so that someone on the waiting list can have a chance to cultivate. We have recently been able to create mini-plots for people on our waiting list to have a chance to start gardening while they are still waiting for an allotment.

Great compost being delivered to plots

Chris Foster has continued to deliver great compost in bulk to plots. A full trailer load costs £35 delivered. Contact Chris on 07956 442 043 to arrange your delivery.img_003807956 442 043 Chris Foster

Other discounts and offers

see our discounts and offers page – click on this link

Make your own compost

Read this article for more on how to make compost from weeds and waste

Flooding at Margaret Road

A day of rain in March meant flooding at Margaret Road. Luckily there was subsequent dry weather and the water drained after a few days

March 2022 Allotment News

AGM on Wed 9th March 7:45pm

The venue is Kettering Athletic Club, 104 Rockingham Road. The AGM is your chance to:-

Meet the committee

Receive the audited accounts for 2021

Discuss Society business

Vote on proposals, officers and committee membership

Ask questions, suggest ideas in person

Click on this link for the AGM agenda, reports and updates

(Remember, you can ask questions anytime and make suggestions to your field steward or email us, not just at the AGM)

Fabulous Compost Delivered your plot

Chris with a typical load of compost

A fabulous new service available. Bulk compost delivered to allotment plots. A trailer of 1 cubic metre for £35 delivered. Chris Foster on 07956 442 043 Members have been buying this compost and are very happy with the quality and quantity.

beautiful bulk compost

Cardboard is the best weedkiller!

See this article – click on this link from the Daily Express

News from the National Allotments Society

Click on this link for an electronic copy of the latest magazine from NAS, full URL below

Event in Desborough Library next month

There is a a Gardeners Question Time on Thursday April 7th 7pm for 7.30 and wondered if your allotment members would be interested. Jonny Amos from BBC Radio Northampton is hosting the event with the help of local panelist, we will be having a licenced bar and tickets are £5, these can be obtained from Desborough library or  by email or by telephone 01604 368169 . Any queries please do not hesitate to contact Lesley Draycott on 01536 762606

Hedges trimmed at Scott Road last month

Powerful machinery keeping our hedges trimmed February 2022

Film from National Allotments Society

Useful information for chicken owners (on how to control rats)

Click on this link for great information on rat control

No dig gardening explained simply

February 2022 Allotment News

Thank you for paying annual rent

Many thanks to all our members for paying their rent last month. If you have not paid, then your plot may be re-let to someone on the waiting list; if you want to keep your allotment and pay late, you should contact the treasurer urgently on 07745 363 236

How to contact us and your field stewards

see this page on our website for ways to contact your stewards

Dry January

Remarkably dry weather last month has left the soil drier than usual. Normal winter rains help fill up reservoirs, water tables and our barrels, so the dry weather is not all good news. The pattern of droughts then deluges seems to be continuing. We suggest everyone invests in as many rainwater collection barrels as possible. Another way to cope with droughts and deluges is mulching. Remember, you can buy thousand-litre IBC water tanks for £45 delivered from Roy at windermere logs. Further advice on coping with droughts and deluges on this link.

thousand litre IBC £45 from Windermere Logs

Scott Road break-ins in January

See this account on the news website, Northants Live. Our allotments community showed great spirit and support by coming together to repair the gap in the hedge created by the thieves. The site is now more secure. Many thanks to everyone who helped.

volunteers help repair the hedge at Scott Road

AGM on March 9th

Our AGM is scheduled for Wednesday 9th March at 7:45pm at Kettering Athletic Club, Rockingham Road. We did not hold an AGM last year because of Covid restrictions, so we have 2 years of business to report. All members welcome to attend and vote. It is your chance to support and participate in our society’s democratic process. Full details on our website.

Margaret Road – change of email address for steward

Please note the new email address for Peter

Green/grey bins still free in Kettering (for now)

See this news story from the Evening Telegraph. We advise that you take home and bin those difficult-to-compost things, like dandelion roots, brussels stalks, couch grass roots. Use your grey bin while it is still free! This is far better than burning them as we are trying to minimise bonfires and smoke pollution – see this page from our website

Waiting Lists

Stewards work hard to reduce our waiting lists. Our policy is on our website – see this link.

Tips from Charles Dowding

see this article on the web or search for Charles Dowding on YouTube

Seed offer from Kings Seeds

Please remain vigilant for rats

We had one report of rats. This is not unusual in winter, as rats visit compost bins for warmth and shelter. Please report any sightings to your stewards and check out our advice and guidance on this on our website here.

Why not try worm farming?

see this article

Possible road closures at Scott Road?

Clarification from the Council. We will still have access from one side only of Scott Road, so a short detour for some, but otherwise no problem. Any further updates will be posted on our Facebook page

January 2022 Allotment News

Best wishes for 2022. We hope that the New Year is better than the last two years.

Please pay your 2022 Rent now

Thank you to everyone who has already paid rent early. This is much appreciated.

Click on the link for how to pay. If you have any questions about rent, please contact the treasurer, John Burn on or 07745 363 236

If you do not pay your rent, your tenancy will be terminated and your plot will be let to someone on the waiting list.

Northfield Avenue- some disruption expected soon

Work by Western Power to install new 33 000 Volt cables underground along the riding track will start soon. This work is needed to upgrade the electricity supply network for the town of Kettering and is vital to the infrastructure and keeping the lights on. Please be patient whilst the trench is being dug and cables installed.

Welcome Sarah

We have another field steward for Northfield Avenue. Sarah Taylor on plot 29 is going the stewarding team and will be working with Harry Pope. If Northfield Avenue members have any questions or comments please contact Sarah and Harry in the first instance.

Buy a water tank now to collect winter rain

Available from Roy at Windermere Logs. Thousand litre IBC water tanks – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197 or email Roy at

Importance of soil

A fascinating and informative summary from the BBC and Royal Society

Prepare for floods if winter rain is heavy (Margaret Road)

Please do what you can to prepare for floods near the River Ise on Margaret Road. For example, removing tools from sheds now, so they are not damaged if it floods during the winter.

Allotments can be as productive as farms

Click on this link for an interesting article from the Guardian newspaper

Alpaca manure now £2 (price increase)

We have been informed by Rachel that her alpaca manure is now £2 per bag. To arrange purchase and collection from Broughton, contact Rachel on 07590 610056

We recommend Kings Seeds

Kings Seeds have a great range and good prices.

December 2021 allotment news

Rents for 2022 due in January

Annual rents are due on 1st January. You can pay now if you want. The 2022 rents are unchanged from 2021, so most members will pay the same as last year.  A few members have will pay less or more – some have reduced the size of their plots to allow people on the waiting list to get an allotment. Some plots on Margaret Road top riding were re-measured and the new rents will reflect these more accurate size of plots. If you are not sure how much to pay, contact the treasurer on 07745 363 236 or email

How to pay your rent for 2022

There are 2 ways- online banking or posting a cheque to the Treasurer. Details of how to pay are on this link – see the link at the top

Investing in Margaret Road 

After months of planning, approval from the committee and a budget allocation, our Margaret Road car parks and turning areas have now been improved considerably. The car parks have now been levelled and resurfaced with hard standing. The work was done on November 18th. Many thanks to Peter New and the other Margaret Road stewards for their hard work.

Adapting to climate change – some ideas

After a dry autumn we are now getting rain. This is the ideal time to collect free rainwater for next year. Our weather pattern has changed in recent years, perhaps due to Climate Change. The pattern we experience now is long periods of dry weather alternating with very wet spells – droughts and deluges. Two things we can do to cope with this weather are

  1. Mulching the soil so it behaves like a sponge – see link
  2. Collecting rainwater in the deluges for use in the droughts

Kev at Scott Road has made a clever collection system on an IBC tank. Well done Kev

IBCs are available for sale

IBCs are available for sale at £45 delivered to your plot by Roy Edmunds at Windermere Logs

Contact Roy on 07515 915 197

The cost is great value for money – only £45

or email Roy at

Other consequences of wet winters

Margaret Road in particular is vulnerable to winter flooding. Last winter some plots were thigh-deep in water. We suggest that you prepare now, by moving any tools and equipment to secure and dry locations now, so they will not be damaged if it floods again this winter.

Another consequence of wet weather in winter is that some ridings may be closed to protect the grass. Please respect the signs


Latest from National Allotments (NSALG)- click on the link. Kettering Allotments are on page 49

Bird Flu (avian influenza)

Measures came into force on 29 November to protect poultry from bird flu. See HM Government websites for details.


Why is it important to remove crop residues?

These unharvested crops were left on an allotment. Each had been partly eaten by rats – see the teeth marks on the butternut. Our advice is to remove all crops, even spoiled ones, and place in your green/grey wheelie bin at home. This will reduce plants diseases and rat problems on our plots.

rat teeth marks on discarded crops

November 2021 supplement

An extra story that was missed in our November news bulletin

Margaret Road Fun and Competition

Apologies for this story not appearing in the November Newsletter. We have now confirmed the results of the event held at Margaret Road on Sunday October 17th.


First = Pete 19lbs 9 oz

Second = Charlie 15lbs 8 oz

Third = Gosha = 12lbs 5 oz

Runner bean

First = Glenda 48cm a new record!

Second = Ian 38 cm

Third equal = Becky and Stewart =  37 cm


First = Dai 114lbs

Second = Stewart = 46 lbs 12 oz

Third = Jackie  19lbs 13 oz

Ugliest Vegetable

the ugliest vegetable was Charlie’s beetroot (we think it was a beetroot at least!)

Well done everyone. Thanks for your support and to all who joined in the fun.

We hope to have another fun get-together next year, maybe in the summer as well as our traditional October fun competition.

Dai and the giant pumpkin

November 2021 Allotment News

2021 Allotment Prize winners and Councillor Dez

Remember, remember, now it’s November

and the 5th of November is traditional bonfire time

Remember that we discourage bonfires. It is better to compost most allotment waste, such as weeds. Thorny pruning (eg blackberry) are difficult to compost without shredding, but can be useful if placed in gaps around our boundaries to improve security (deter unwelcome visitors).

Margaret Road and Scott Road have now set up designated bonfire areas. These are locations that are far from our neighbours’ houses and set away from sheds. Members can bring their woody allotment waste to these designated sites. Bonfires at these locations will be less of a nuisance than many smaller fires on individual plots. See stewards for more details. 

Remember that if you do plan a bonfire on 5th November then make sure you risk assess and follow our

health and safety guidelines.

Rents for 2022- Good News

The annual rents will be due on 1st January 2022

Good news! The committee has decided to keep the rents the same


Media coverage in the Evening Telegraph

click on the link below

Remember to stay COVID safe 

Please keep observing safety precautions to prevent the spread of Covid 19. Allotments are just about the safest place to be with regard to Covid, but please keep your distance when talking to people, even outdoors. If you test positive, stay at home and isolate. None of us know who will be more vulnerable once infected.

Bulk buying straw 

J A Knight & Son of Walgrave 01604 781630

a delivery of 21 bales of straw from J A Knight farms

Click here for our Other offers and discounts


October ends with a storm

On the morning of Halloween, the fence at our Windmill Avenue site was blown down by the high winds. Several trees in the neighbourhood were also blown down. Many thanks to George (our field steward) and other Windmill Avenue members who have straightened the fence. George and the team are now planning a more permanent repair to this fence.

Some other interesting links and articles… (click on the links)

How Composting Changed my Life

How to protect garden soil over the winter months

Gardening Good for mental health newspaper article

Looking after winter squash in storage

Which is the best composting method for you?

October 2021 Allotment News

Bridgstock Cup and Awards presented

On Sunday September 19th, the Bridgstock Cup was presented along with awards for best newcomers and highly commended. Cllr Dez Dell and Cllr Emily Ferdorwycz were honoured us with their presence and they were given a tour of the Scott Road site. (Dez is the one on the left, holding the pumpkin)


Yellow rust disease of grass

Observant members reported in late September that the grass near their plots was turning yellow and wondered whether there had been accidental drift of weedkiller (herbicide). On closer inspection it was clear that the grass was infected with a rust disease. This disease is more common because if the weather conditions we have been experience – little rain, warm and morning dew/humidity. There is nothing to worry about as it does not affect humans or our crops (unless you want a beautiful lawn)

Bagged Horse Manure for sale

£25 for 10 large bags. Contact Joanne Thurston on  or call in the Windmill Avenue shop (Windmill Pet Supplies) 07801 501 488 01536 514 725

Composting advice

Rat control tips

There have been some reports of rats on allotments. Rat activity is not unusual at this time of year. As the weather cools, rats come into sheds and compost bins for shelter and possibly food. Please remain vigilant and report any sightings with as much detail as possible to your stewards. Please check out our policy on vermin and the link below with tips on how to control rats.

Buying Bulk straw

A large pack of 21 small bales of straw is £52.50 (that is £2.50 a bale) delivered by J A Knight farmers of Walgrave 07764 788 657 or 01604 781 630

Another supplier is Holcot Hay

Small bales £3.50 each (a minimum applies plus delivery charge) See Holcot Hay men on Facebook

Smaller straw deliveries

Straw bales may be available from Jamie’s butchers in Gold Street Kettering (they deliver).

07765 198 709

New rainbow kale

Do your bit for climate change

Your soil like a rainforest

Please respect our rules


September 2021 Allotment News

Bridgstock Cup Winner and other Awards

The committee appointed judges representing all of our 4 sites to decide who is awarded the Bridgstock Cup. They also award best newcomers prizes. This year the Cup is awarded to Russell Attwood, Scott Road. Best newcomers are Gosha, plot 12 Margaret Road and also Sarah and Dale Dexter, plot 87 Scott Road. Highly commended awarded to Maria Chagas plot 6 Margaret Road. Commendation awarded to Rob McIntyre, plot 88 Scott Road who has helped Sarah and Dale clear a huge amount of rubbish and create a new plot. Many thanks to the judging team for all of their hard work.

Site Safety reminder- please note carefully the list of prohibitions


Accidents and near-misses

As part of our continuing commitment to improve safety on our allotments, we do want to know of any accidents or near-misses you have witnessed or experienced. Near-Misses are particularly valuable, as fortunately nobody was hurt but we can all learn how to improve and prevent future accidents. Please contact us if you know of any.


See the discounts page at

Question of the month – to raise or sink your bed?

Many members are building raised beds on their plots.

These constructions have been made popular by TV gardening make-over programmes, but are they a good idea? More on this, including the Goldilocks Challenge on our website.

Are you able to take the Goldilocks Challenge?

(comparing a raised bed, a sunken bed or staying level-bedded)

(equal opportunity note – you can try this challenge whatever colour your hair is, no need for golden locks)

The challenge: Carry out an experiment to find out which beds work best on your plot. Create 3 equal beds, one raised, one sunken and one level. Grow identical crops in each and treat them the same (eg feeding, weeding, watering) and measure your crop. Like Goldilocks and her porridge, you will find out which bed system is just right (for your plot).

News from NSALG (National Allotments Society)

News from London Road Garden Shop

2022 seed potato catalogue launched, see it here

Robot weeders – I want one!

Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney

One of my favourite poems. So beautiful, it encapsulates blackberry picking so perfectly and has many layers of deeper meanings… watch and listen to Seamus Heaney himself reading it

News about looking after our soil to reduce global warming/climate change.

Soil Management a key part of reducing global warming,

Another tip to look after your soil – don’t leave it bare over winter..

Composting in the News

August 2021 Allotment News

Cup Judging

We understand that the cup judges have made their decisions and will be reporting to the committee at its August meeting. A full announcement of the results will be made once the committee has ratified this adjudication.

Well done!

One of our members discovered a well on her plot. This was unexpected and could have been a serious hazard. Quite rightly, she consulted the committee who are working with her to take steps to make it safe. 

Please let us know if you find any unexpected hazards on your plot.

Stay safe on allotments

Stay safe, and risk assess. Being safe is no accident. Remember that “common sense” is not very common at all. Perhaps it should be called extremely rare sense? The committee is committed to keeping our allotments as safe as possible. That is why we have a safety policy and recommend all members read and follow its guidelines. See the policy on our website

Or maybe study the hazards checklist and suggest any improvements…..

Contact us if you have any comments on safety or our other policies.

Field Tour by the committee

The committee were able to tour Margaret Road and Windmill Avenue fields on 20 July. They were very pleased with the progress being made and recent improvements at Margaret Road. Windmill Avenue continues to be a successful and beautiful part of the landscape. Well done to all the members and stewards of these two fields who have been working hard on their plots.

Margaret Road teamwork to clear verges and weeds

On Saturday 10th July a team of stewards and helpers used strimmer and scythe to clear some of the overgrown verges and weeds. Many thanks to all who helped and to Peter for organising. Peter is considering whether to do more sessions soon, so if you are interested in helping please email him on

Peter with his compost

Facebook goes from strength to strength. – new members are joining, competitions, advice and ideas.  Find us on Facebook as Kettering Allotment Society. We are trying to keep things positive, so if you have something negative to report, please contact your steward privately. Stewards will deal with these things discretely rather than putting news of them on Facebook.

Welcome Gosha

Gosha has joined the stewards team at Margaret Road. She is now the steward for the second riding.  To contact Gosha, please email

Buying Straw

More members are using mulch to suppress weeds and conserve water. One source of bulk straw is Lisa Middleton. She supplies large and small bales of straw and hay, delivered to your plot. There is a minimum delivery order of £55, so it is probably best if a few members organise a delivery between them. To contact Lisa Middleton, text her on 07923 471 513 If you know of any other suppliers of straw, please let us know.

Please avoid smoky fires

We have had a few instances of smoky bonfires  recently. Allotment members have had their precious gardening time spoiled by breathing smoke and the air has been polluted. Please don’t burn green waste and try to avoid smoky fires. The question many members ask is “What shall I do with these weeds?”

What can I do with these pulled-out weeds?

Turn the weeds into compost, either in a compost bin or covering them with cardboard, see photos below

Use the pulled-out weeds as mulch on top of cardboard. They will soon shrivel up at this time of year and rot. See photos below…

Give the weeds to some chickens, they will love scratching around looking for worms and insects and turn them into eggs and manure

Put “difficult” weeds in your green waste bin at home. Some weeds may grow back, so best to remove and the green waste bin at home is ideal.

Take the weeds to the recycling depot (council “tip”) 

Woody waste, eg blackberry branches may be burned when dry, but is quite useful if put into any gaps in the boundary hedges. Their thorns will help improve our security.

pulled-out weeds placed on top of card. they soon shrivel and die in the summer

Cardboard is the cheapest weedkiller

Some members have been using cardboard to kill the weeds on their plots

Cardboard placed directly on top of weeds. It needs something to secure it
pallets have secured the card. Note the weeds in the patch beyond still thriving!

Turning food waste into compost – amazing device (but a bit pricey…)

IBC water tanks (1000 litres) available for £45 delivered to your plot

Contact Roy Edmunds, phone Roy on 07515 915 197

The cost is great value for money – only £45

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at

July 2021 Allotment News

Cup Judging Month- enter now!

The month of July is when the cup judges appointed by the committee observe and deliberate. They are judging the annual award of the Bridgstock Cup.

See  for details of the cup’s history. 

Enter now, by contacting your steward or phoning 01536 723682  or email

You need to include your plot number and name when you enter.

The criteria we look for are: your plot must be numbered,  you must have followed our rules, a neat and tidy weed-free plot, a variety of produce, vegetables, soft fruit, flowers, evidence of composting, collection of rain water for irrigation and general good gardening practices. 

Great news from KTC – thanks Des, Emily and James

Good news for Scott Road! A piece of land owned by the Council next to our site is going to be cleared and made safe to create new allotments. This will help us in three ways;- the additional plots will help clear our waiting lists, the site is currently not safe with many hazardous items on it and the site is not as secure as our other boundaries, so once it is made safe we can improve security.

Our thanks go to Councillors at Kettering Town Council, including Des Dell, James Towns, Emily Fedorowycz and Keli Watts who have all supported our requests for something to be done about this land.  

Des and James visited the site to view the condition of the land on 25 May and Keli Watts visited last summer when she was Mayor of Kettering. See the photo below of Des, Emily, James and other Councillors…

Councillors Des, Emily and James

More news from the Council

Our new Town Council held a meeting to hear reports from community groups on May 27th. We were privileged to be allowed to speak. Our secretary was able to inform the Council that allotments in the town are thriving and we value their support. Our comments were listened to respectfully.

IBC water tanks (1000 litres) available for £45 delivered to your plot

Contact Roy Edmunds, phone Roy on 07515 915 197

The cost is great value for money – only £45

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at

Committee Field Tour 

Once a year the committee tours some of our sites instead of holding a formal committee meeting. This year we are touring Margaret Road and Windmill Avenue on 20 July. The annual tour is always informative and informal, but not part of the cup judging process.

Asbestos removal from Margaret Road

The committee has arranged for a specialist company to remove hazardous asbestos that has been found at Margaret Road. This will make our field much safer.

Recycling Weeds

Most allotment members turn their weeds into compost.  But what if you have pulled out the more “challenging” weeds like couch grass that often keeps on growing in the compost bin? What if you have just taken on a very weedy plot and there are so many weeds and not enough composting bins? 

Members at Scott Road have found an ingenious solution to recycle these weeds and turn them into eggs. The weeds are given to Stephen (who has a large tonne bag outside his plot) who gives them to his chickens. The weeds soon disappear and get turned into chicken manure and eggs. The hens love scratching around in the weeds looking for worms, insects etc so are happy girls.

So, if you have a lot of weeds and don’t know what to do with them, try donating them to some nearby hens (first get permission from the hen-keeper)

News stories from the media

Gardening good for your health – official

Rainwater better than mains – do your bit for the environment and collect free rain

see the article below…

June 2021 Allotment News

Advance notice of road closure next Saturday – Scott Road

Scott Road will be  closed to vehicles on Saturday 5 June all day. This is to allow BT to install infrastructure for the new houses being built. Pedestrian access will remain.

Please mow the ridings

Now we have ended no-mow May, please mow or strim the grass paths and ridings adjacent to your plot. This time of year the grass is growing well. Please remember to keep the grass mown near your plot. (see rule 34 of our RULES)

Great source of IBC water tanks (thousand litres) delivered to your plot

The cost is great value for money – only £45

Contact Roy Edmunds 

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at

Fox’s Pallets also sell water barrels, IBCs and other useful allotment items. 

01536 515000


location= A14 roundabout, Rothwell Rd, Kettering NN16 8XF

News from the committee

Disciplinary policy reviewed and updated. The committee has reviewed and updated our disciplinary policy. This can be found on our website

News from National Allotments Society

Kind words from a new tenant received by text 

It’s great to have good news to report. This text was received by a steward from a new member…

“Good afternoon, trust the family is well. We are very grateful for the allotment. We are loving our plot with special thanks to Patrick who is very pleasant and helpful. Kindly help us to say a big thank you to him. He has been very helpful in every way. We are mainly there Sunday afternoons and Mondays, our day off and hope to see you there one of these days.”

Facebook competitions and more

Our Facebook group goes from strength to strength and there are now some fun competitions with great prizes. Look for Kettering Allotments on Facebook

Your Questions Answered…

We always welcome feedback and questions. Recently a member queried why we are discouraging tyres on plots. The following link to an article explains why tyres are considered toxic waste and should not be used on gardens.

The facts about tyres

Tyres are extremely durable. During manufacture, natural rubber is combined with synthetic rubber and treated with a cocktail of chemicals, some toxic or known carcinogens, others more innocuous, to make the tyre withstand all the forces that will act upon it on the road.

Each of these forces works in a different way on the tyre, but over time collude to break it back down into its constituent parts.

During this process, the various chemicals and compounds are slowly released through off-gassing, particulate matter or ‘tyre dust’, or as chemicals, leaching out into water.

Tyres and toxins

Most off-gassing occurs within the first year, for example, that ‘new carpet smell’, and given that tyres typically are 3 to 5 years old before being discarded, this would not really seem to be an issue.

What should be of greater concern to growers, is the gradual erosion through water and sunlight, and any leachate of chemicals and toxins that may occur to contaminate the surrounding the soil and anything grown in it.

The point is that if there is a source of pollution, then the important thing is to remove the risk by eliminating any pathway from it.

In this case, placing potatoes and soil in a tyre and then watering it is not eliminating the pathway; it is exacerbating it by joining the dots so that toxins can flow freely from the tyres into plants and then build up in the food.

Remember discounts are available for you

Discounts at B&Q and  Screwfix

Thanks to Guv, our members can apply for discounts at ScrewFix and B&Q 

Email Guv at .info@purchasingfor  You will need to provide name, address and email to get the discounts

See Guv’s message below:

I can provide all your allotment members exclusive access to a 10% discount at B&Q & 5% discount at Screwfix. They can email me and state you are from Kettering Allotments and request the discounts and reference your membership for Kettering Allotments. To sign them up for the discounts we would need there name, address, phone and email and we can then set up there discounts

Discounts at Hevey

Hevey are still offering discount for our members. Please ask for your Kettering Allotment discount  when purchasing there.

GB Plastics

We have been informed of another discount for allotment members. This time it is GB plastics on the Telford Way industrial park in Kettering, details below. You will nee to identify yourself as a member of Kettering Allotments Society to get the discount. Show your key fob or allotment key.

May 2021 Allotment News

IBCs to purchase (delivered to your plot)

We have found a good source of thousand litre water tanks (known as IBCs) delivered to your plot for a fair price of £45. Please contact Roy on the number below.

IBCs – for £45 including delivery phone Roy on 07515 915 197

or email Roy at


Facebook Group

The Scott Road site has had an active Facebook Group for a while now. The committee has agreed that this can be opened up to members from our other sites. Please check out Facebook and search for Kettering Allotment Society to join.

New notice boards ordered

For those of us who are not on Facebook, the committee has agreed to invest in new notice boards for all of our 4 fields. These are being ordered and will help inform members of news and announcements in the traditional way. 

Another discount

We have been informed of another discount for allotment members. This time it is GB plastics on the Telford Way industrial park in Kettering, details below. You will nee to identify yourself as a member of Kettering Allotments Society to get the discount. Show your key fob or allotment key.

Remember there are also discount schemes for B&Q, Screwfix and Hevey– see the April newsletter for details.

GB plastics – Unit 8 Baron Avenue, telford way NN16 8UW 01536 484 824, email

Skips away

We have recently had skips at the Windmill Avenue and Margaret Road sites. This has helped clear the non-recyclable rubbish that had accumulated. Skips are costly, so the committee discussed the issue at its recent ZOOM meeting. We aim to reduce the need for skips in the future by adopting a better waste management policy and being more considerate to the planet we live on.


New policy on waste

The committee has therefore adopted a new policy on waste management. This formalises our current practice and is not revolutionary. The reason for the new policy is to clarify one or two points that were not written down and may have caused some misunderstandings. The policy has been published on our website and is copied below, at the end of this newsletter. Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about waste on allotments.

Plastic waste in the news…

click on the link to read about the problems of plastic waste. Let’s minimise the waste where possible.

or watch the expert, Charles Dowding on YouTube

Clive is our Chairman

Clive Thorley has been re-elected as the committee Chairman for the next 12 months. Many thanks to Clive for his continued service and diplomacy.


No-dig veg plots on TV – the BBC programme Beechgrove

click on the link to see this on the BBC iplayer. There is no need to dig


There is still no date. The committee is keeping a watching brief on when it will be safe to hold an AGM. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Rat control

We remain vigilant to control vermin, including rats, on allotment land. This time of year the rats may be breeding, so continued vigilance and control measures are especially important. Thank you to everyone who is doing this. See below the news story about rats and COVID.

And finally..

A much more positive story in the news…

April 2021 Allotment News

AGM and annual accounts summary

The 2021 AGM has been postponed until it is safe to hold a physical meeting. However, our accounts for the year 2020 have been audited and the treasurer presented these to the committee using ZOOM during the March Zoom committee meeting. The treasurer has prepared a statement to summarise our financial position click here to see this statement.

Discounts at B&Q and  Screwfix

Thanks to Guv, our members can apply for discounts at ScrewFix and B&Q 

Email Guv at .info@purchasingfor  You will need to provide name, address and email to get the discounts

See Guv’s message below:

I can provide all your allotment members exclusive access to a 10% discount at B&Q & 5% discount at Screwfix. They can email me and state you are from Kettering Allotments and request the discounts and reference your membership for Kettering Allotments. To sign them up for the discounts we would need there name, address, phone and email and we can then set up there discounts

Discounts at Hevey

Hevey are still offering discount for our members. Please ask for your Kettering Allotment discount  when purchasing there.

Scott Road housebuilding and new road


The house building at the entrance to Scott Road is proceeding at a good pace. Many thanks to all those at Jeakins Weir for their considerate approach. Thanks also to our members who have shown patience when the entrance has been blocked or muddy due to the heavy vehicles working on the site. The new road will soon be tarmac and then the current track will be taken up ready for houses to be built. That means that at some stage in the near future we shall be using the new road to access our allotments. Arrangements are being made to reuse or replace the gate. Your patience and understanding are appreciated and we continue to support the provision of new social housing in the town.

Margaret Road improvements

Many thanks to our new team of stewards. A new car parking area has been cleared. Stewards are making arrangements to level it and add gravel etc in the near future. Scrap metal is being collected in a central point ready for collection and recycling. Other rubbish is being collected ready for a skip. Please talk to your stewards if you are able to help out or need advice. Please do your bit by removing any rubbish from your own plot and taking home to bin it (or to the tip/recycling depot). If we all took a bag of rubbish home there will be less need for skips (which are expensive). See below for the contact details of the stewards:

Northfield Avenue – Harry Pope  07518 265286 

Windmill Avenue – George White 01536 518097

Margaret Road

John Negus 01536 420 381 email

Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114 email:

John Roberts 07525 474 302 email:

Peter New ‭07857 854377        email

Goodbye KBC

The new Council will take over this month. The North Northamptonshire Council (Unitary Authority) replaces the County Council as well at Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby and East Northants. There will be a Town Council for Kettering town only. We look forward to working with the new Council and say thanks and goodbye to KBC, our previous landlord for many years.

Waiting lists moving

Since the lockdown restrictions have been eased slightly, our stewards have been cautiously and safely meeting new tenants and letting those plots vacated over the winter. The waiting lists have moved a bit, but many people are still waiting for plots.

Are you struggling?

If you are finding your own allotment a bit too much and would like to consider reducing your plot size, then please contact us or your field steward. We are always happy to consider plot reductions to help get those on the waiting list a chance.

March 2021 Allotment News

AGM 2021

The 103rd AGM postponed 

Covid lockdown restrictions mean the 103rd Annual General Meeting has been postponed. No date has been set yet, but as soon as it is safe the committee will arrange the AGM. Meanwhile our accounts have been audited and will be available soon. Another important function of the AGM is to listen to our members. We are always happy to receive your views online, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Latest News Magazine from National Allotments – click on the link below

Lockdown news – some plots ready to re-let to patient people on waiting lists as soon as it is safe

Lockdown has meant that we have had to pause re-letting vacant plots to new members. As soon as it is safe and allowed, we shall re-let these plots. The waiting lists continue to grow longer, so thank you for your patience if you are still waiting. 

Gate repaired

Many thanks to Darren for repairing one of the gates at Scott Road that was getting frozen in the cold weather.

Floods at Margaret Road

the heavy rain has caused serious floods at Margaret Road. Many plots were knee-deep in water. Hopefully the recent drier spell has allowed some plots to be worked. 

Paying respects to Don (“Snowy”) 

The funeral of Don was on 11th February. The cortege stopped in Margaret Road and some members were able to pay their respects to his coffin 

Terrible news from Whiteford Drive (not in our society)

Advice section

Mulch now while the soil is still wet

See youtube film below


We have had wet winter, as mentioned earlier in the news about flooded plots. If we then get a dry spell, all will be well for a little while but then we may wish for a bit of rain for our crops. Unfortunately our weather seems to be either deluges or droughts. One way of coping with such extremes is to mulch with thick layer on the soil. The mulch prevents soils drying out in droughts and conserves water from the winter long into the summer months. Crops may never need watering is there is a thick mulch around them. Suggested mulches include:

Cardboard (needs covering  with other layers listed below)





Tree leaves or leaf-mould

More news from National Allotments

National Allotments Week 2021 – 9 August till 15 August. Our theme in 2021 is Plotting for the Future; we will be celebrating  the contribution that allotments make to a sustainable future. Look out for more news in the next magazine and on the website.
Picturesque Plots

Many thanks to Tim Bennett of Overstrand in Norfolk for this beautiful image of a snowy plot.
If you took a snap of your plot in the snow or frost send them in to  by 24 February and we can make a gallery in the next issue of the magazine; when all the cold weather will be a distant memory!
The My Harvest research project is on-going this year and the team would love to hear from new gardeners who would like to take part and measure their 2021 harvest. The evidence collected will be key to providing the vital evidence base to support the use of land for growing spaces within our cities and towns, at a time when people are becoming increasingly interested in growing their own fruit and vegetables.
Compost Survey
Composting is an important part of waste management, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and the need for bonfires on the allotment. We would like to increase our understanding of the number of members who compost and the method they use and have put together a short survey. CLICK HERE to complete
We are also hoping to start Composting Training sessions at Stokes Wood Allotment Composting Demonstration site in Leicester as soon as the lockdown restrictions permit.  We are  planning to introduce a basic session for those new to composting or wishing to develop their basic skills and more specialised sessions on Hot Composting, Bokashi composting, making plant and compost teas, vermiculture and allotment community composting.
Those completing the relevant session would receive an Allotment Compost Mentor Certificate. The sessions would include practical activities  on the demonstration site with lunch and refreshments being provided. In addition, we are hoping  to produce an on-line or distance learning version that might include an optional practical session on site.
Watch Your Back campaign returns
The sun protection campaign returns in 2021 and we are looking to create some resources and advice specifically for allotment holders.
Do you have a story to tell? A member contacted us recently about an allotment acquired wound on his head that did not heal and turned out to be skin cancer – caused by twenty five years of too much sun and too little hair. He was keen that we reinforce the need for sun protection whilst gardening and curious to know about protective headwear members could suggest – he has resorted to a re-inforced baseball cap! contact
Kings Seeds, Covid -19 
The Kings team are still on track to have all orders that have been received up to the end of January despatched by the end of Feb- despite the snow! However, most of their office staff have tested positive for covid 19 and now working from home, so please try not to chase your orders.
We are Proud of our Members
The NAS took the opportunity to thank all those members who give their time and skills to supporting the allotment movement. We realise that there are many hundreds of you and you can read about the actions of just a few in this edition of the Hyphen magazine.
COVID19 Update   We have updated our guidance on the NAS website to cover safe use of allotments during the latest lockdown. To view CLICK HERE
Gardening on your allotment is a legitimate form of exercise during the pandemic/lockdown and they can be used safely if we all follow hygiene and social distancing advice.

February 2021 Allotment News

Rest in Peace Don Thurland 1927-2021

We are sorry to announce the death of Don Thurland on 12th January. Don was one of our long-standing members, renting plot 45 on Margaret Road. His nickname was Snowy to those who knew him. He was born on 24 March 1927 and was nearly 94 when he died.  He is survived by his wife Pam who will continue cultivating the plot. The funeral is on 11th February and the procession and hearse will stop at the gates of Margaret Road allotments at 13:50 for his allotment friends and neighbours to pay their respects in a safe and socially distanced way.

Thanks Hevey

Thanks again to Stuart and Hevey Timber for the free wood, delivered to Scott Road. Very useful for our allotments. Remember to mention you are a member of Kettering Allotments when you shop at Hevey for a discount.

Lockdown restrictions pause new lettings

We would normally re-let vacant plots at this time of year to those on our waiting lists. Some plots become vacant when previous members give up at the end of the year. We do want to re-let these plots as soon as it is safe, but the lockdown rules and risk of infection have caused us to pause the process. To those on the waiting lists, thank you for your patience.

Seed Potatoes in stock at Garden Shop, London Road

A wide range of varieties in stock now. Selling quickly, so be sure to get yours before stock runs out. 

Online seed companies reporting delays to orders. Covid restrictions, staff shortages because of isolating and unprecedented demand means some seed companies are reporting significant delays in processing orders. See this message from Kings Seeds

Unfortunately, due to an unusually high volume of orders, coupled with COVID-19 restrictions and a significant number of staff isolating and the need for social distancing in our warehouse we have temporarily suspended ordering via our website and Phone lines.  We hope to re-open the website and phones very soon.If you already have placed an order, we are still trying to complete existing orders and are currently fulfilling orders  in 14-21 working days of receipt. We apologise for the delay


Our AGM is an important part of our society and its democracy and legal status.

The AGM is normally in March. It may well be another casualty of the virus pandemic. The committee will meet on ZOOM in mid February to make a final decision. Some possibilities are 

  1. Delay until the pandemic is over and it is safe to meet

2. Hold a virtual AGM on ZOOM or similar

3. A combination of the above, with a virtual AGM in March to cover legal technicalities and a follow-up meeting once it is safe.

Respect the no vehicles signs

There have been reports of vehicles using the grass ridings at Margaret Road in winter. This will ruin the track, so please respect the sign and obey the rules (rules 20 and 21)

Petition HM Government

There is a petition to urge the government to provide more allotments. You may wish to consider signing it?

January 2021 Allotment News

Rents due now – thanks for paying promptly 

2021 rents are due on 1st January. Many thanks to all those who have paid already. See this link for how to pay. The best way to pay is online banking. If you wish to pay cash at HSBC Kettering branch, please ask for a pre-printed paying in slip at the counter. Always remember to include your field, plot number and name as a reference. If we do not know these details then our records may show you have not paid.  If you do not pay your rent you will lose your tenancy and the plot will be re-let to someone on the waiting list. If you have any queries about rents, please contact the treasurer on 07745 363 236

  • Contact the treasurer if you have any questions 07745 363 236

Waiting lists were moving

Since lockdown our waiting lists have grown much longer. In recent weeks we have been able to shorten them and welcome new members to our society after clearing rubbish from vacated plots. Some of our previous members have given up at the end of the year or were evicted for non-cultivation of their plots. Our new policy has also helped as new members will only rent smaller 5 pole plots. This means that when a large 10 plot plot becomes vacant we can allocate 2 new people from the waiting list a small plot each.

Waiting lists paused in Tier 4

Current Tier 4 Covid restrictions mean we are not able to meet new tenants, so allocating plots to them will be delayed until restrictions are eased and it is safe to do so.

Deposit Policy for new tenants

The committee has agreed to charge a £25 deposit for new tenants from now on. This money will be kept in a deposit bank account. Deposits will be returned when the tenant leaves or is evicted as long as the plot is vacated with no rubbish. Recently we have paid for several skips.

What counts as rubbish? Some examples of unacceptable rubbish recently removed from vacant plots include: – carpet, large numbers of bricks, old doors, PVC windows, window glass (some broken), toilet pan, plastic items, beer cans, 

What can I leave on a plot when vacating? (and not lose my deposit)

Any shed that is structurally sound, a few slabs (eg a single path), a few bricks (no more than 20 per plot, intact tools, a few pallets or compost bins (no more than 6 pallets). 

Preparing for the AGM

Our AGM is traditionally in March. With current restrictions a physical AGM may not be possible. No final decision has been made, as the situation keeps changing. The committee is considering alternatives to a physical meeting, for example using ZOOM or similar technology to hold and online AGM. 

We do need an AGM to approve the audited accounts, to vote for officers and committee members and to approve new rules etc. Please let us know what you think.

New shed size limit and no more concrete, glass or uPVC

Another new policy agreed by the committee is to limit any new shed to a maximum size of 10 by 8 feet and to ban concrete bases or concreting in of posts along with new hard standings for car parking on plots. Only a few slabs are permitted, so please check with your field stewards before bringing slabs to your plot. Any further uPVC windows and glass are also banned.These restrictions will be proposed to the AGM as a new rule.

Floods on Margaret Road

Once again, very heavy rain has lead to flooding at Margaret Road, as it is located in the valley of the river Ise. Floods were also experienced at Geddington and Warkton on the same river. 


Respect the signs

Please respect the “NO VEHICLES IN WINTER” signs on some of our ridings and tracks. Heavy rain and soft ground do not mix with vehicle traffic and the tracks will be ruined. As soon as the ground dries out the ridings will be re-opened by stewards.


Scott Road house building

The land near the gate leading to the track for Scott Road is scheduled for new council houses. We believe that construction work will start early in 2021. The contractor has already met with our chairman and we have established lines of communication. Take care near the construction site and observe all signs and safety measures.

Northfield Avenue electricity cabling

Western Power (the electricity grid) are installing new cables under the railway line and connecting to the existing cables at Northfield Avenue. They are keeping us informed of all developments. Be aware that these cables carry thousands of Volts so keep your distance and observe all safety signs and warnings.

Keep Hens and other poultry indoors – bird flu – Government rules – now law

Hens, turkeys and other captive birds in Britain will have to be kept indoors from 14 December to prevent the spread of bird flu, the government has said.

The chief vets for England, Scotland and Wales made the decision after a number of cases were detected among both captive and wild birds.

“Whether you keep just a few birds or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds,” read the statement.

“We have not taken this decision lightly but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.”

A good time to order seeds

We recommend Kings Sings, Real Seeds and the London Road Garden Shop

Allotments in the News

December 2020 Allotment News

It’s Official – allotments are good for you

See the newspaper article below…

2021 Rents due soon – click this link for how to pay.

Our annual rents are due on 1st January. Please see the link above for how to pay. The easiest way to pay is online banking. Typical rents for 2021 are £32 for a large 10 pole plot and £17 for a 5 pole plot. If you are not sure how much to pay, contact the Treasurer on  07745 363 236

Treasurer’s email = or phone  07745 363 236

Margaret Road stewards

Recently we announced the retirement of Sue and Tony Munt after many years of service on our committee. Many thanks to Sue and Tony.

For Margaret Road members, the first point of contact is your steward. Each ride has a steward and we are appointing new stewards. Many thanks for the kind offers and the hard work of the stewards listed below:

For the first ride, (closest to the street) (Margaret Road) your steward is Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114 email

For the second and third rides, please contact John Negus on 01536 420 381 email

For the bottom ride please contact John Roberts on 01536 391153 email

Changed address, phone or email?

If you change address, phone number or email please let us know. We send out rent reminders at this time of year. If you have moved and do not receive your reminder and do not pay we may have to assume you have given up. Our waiting lists are very long, so your tenancy is at risk

Leaflets available for newcomers

We have a stock of leaflets produced by the National Allotments Society for new allotment gardeners. They have advice on how to cultivate your plot. If you would like a copy, please contact John Negus on 01536 420 381 email

Marrow and Pumpkin Competition winners 2020 (Margaret Road)

Many thanks to the Margaret Road members who organise a friendly competition every year and judge winners in October. Congratulations to the winners below. Some questions come to mind: 1. are you already preparing for next year? and 2. what can you do with an 82lb pumpkin?


MARROW 1st Mark 21lb 15oz 

2nd Pete 15lb 6oz

3rd Dai 14lb 10oz

RUNNER BEAN 1st John 37cm

2nd Mark 35cm

3rd Jackie 33cm

PUMPKIN 1st Dai 82lb

2nd Pete 54lb 10oz

3rd= Jackie 21lb 15oz

3rd= Pat 21lb 15oz

Thank you to all who made an effort and joined us on the 20th Oct. We hope to see more of you next year.

Margaret Road news

Stewards retire

After many years of service, two of our stewards for Margaret Road have retired from this role. Sue and Tony Munt have stepped back.

Thanks Tony and Sue

We would like to thank Sue and Tony for all that they have done for the committee and the allotments.

The committee will soon be appointing new stewards and is considering applications now. Meanwhile, the other stewards will be your points of contact:

Mr John Negus 01536 420 381 email

Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114 email:

November 2020 Allotment News


The allotment rents will be increasing for 2021. Rents are payable on 1st January.

The new rate is £3 per pole, so a typical large plot will now be £30 plus £2 membership fee, TOTAL = £32 per year

A small plot will be a total of £17 per year

We encourage members to pay promptly, preferably using Internet Banking. Details of how to pay are on our website and here.

For any queries about rent, please contact the treasurer, John Burn on

07745 363 236, or email

Notice have been put on all of our 4 fields- on gates or notice boards

Committee ZOOMs ahead!

With the current COVID restrictions banning physical committee meetings, we have used ZOOM software to have a video meeting. Attendance was excellent and the meeting went very well, efficiently chaired by Clive Thorley. A few committee members do not have ZOOM, so were telephoned and their contributions counted, so no-one was left out.

Discount at Hevey

Remember to ask for a Kettering Allotment Discount when you shop at Hevey. Thanks again to Hevey for their kind donation of free wood to Scott Road.

Skips away!

Many thanks to the members from Margaret Road who helped clear a mountain of rubbish and filled two skips. Removing this rubbish has helped to clear areas that can now be re-let to people on the waiting list. Special thanks to all who helped, including Peter New, Pat Draper, Dai Johnson, John Negus. 

Please help prevent the need for more skips

There are several things each and every one of us can do to save the costs and effort of hiring more skips.

  • Please keep the gates locked and prevent unauthorised “visitors” to allotments who may fly-tip
  • Please don’t bring useless items to allotments – especially hazardous material like carpet and tyres
  • Take your rubbish home, including any plastic waste etc that cannot rot down
  • Recycle other waste, eg scrap metal

Remain vigilant- Northfield Avenue water buts go missing, sheds broken into and burned at Windmill Avenue

One of our members at Northfield Avenue has reported that her water buts have been taken. If you saw anything or have any information, please contact us. Please remain vigilant and keep in touch. Ten sheds broken into on Halloween and one completely burned down. Fire Service attended but the shed had already been lost. NEVER leave petrol, GAS or other fuels in shed or on allotment land, take all of these home.

SEED POTATO CATALOGUE now available from London Road Garden Shop

you can view or download the catalogue here

New Policy on Waiting Lists

The committee has adopted a new policy on waiting lists. This is because our waiting lists have grown enormously since lockdown. We now have over 100 people waiting. The new policy aims to be fair to those people who have been waiting for many months. The text of the policy is below:

Policy on Waiting lists – October 2020

  1. Each of our 4 fields (sites) has a separate waiting list and field steward(s).
  2. To join a waiting list, applicants contact the relevant steward for that field and provide full contact details, such as name, phone, email. Field stewards’ contact details are published on our website.
  3. Applicants may be on more than one waiting list.
  4. The tenancy conditions are such that applicants must be named individuals who may represent a household/family or an organisation. The named individual remains responsible for the tenancy. Applicants must be adults..
  5. Waiting lists are chronological, with no queue jumping.
  6. Whilst demand is considered high for allotment plots new applicants will be restricted to one 5-pole plot per household. Existing plot holders with more than one plot will not be affected.
  7. Existing plot holders who wish to apply for additional land will be treated sympathetically. When demand is low and there is no waiting list, it may be possible to rent additional land. Such requests may be granted only when there are vacant plots and the existing plot holder’s current plot is fully cultivated.
  8. Due to high demand for allotments, if the applicant wishes to decline the plot they have been offered but to remain on the waiting list, their details will be moved to the bottom of the list.
  9. All applicants on the waiting list will be contacted annually in December to determine whether or not they wish to remain on the list. If no response is received within 28 days, their details will be removed from the waiting list.
  10. This policy was adopted by the committee at its meeting in October 2020.
  11. This policy may be reviewed and amended by the committee.

Waiting list policy ends

October 2020 Allotment News

Lock the Gate please!

Reports from Margaret Road have been made that the gate has been left open on occasion. This compomises our security. Please keep the gate locked at all times. Lock after entry; lock after exit.

Mains water off – time to collect rain for next year

As usual, our mains water is turned off from October until April. Now is the ideal time to fix guttering to your shed or any other rain-collecting surface and feed rain into barrels, buckets etc.

Skips at Margaret Road

Stewards and members at Margaret Road have been working hard to clear rubbish and make vacant plots suitable for new tenants. Many thanks to all of those who helped and contributed in different ways. We are working through our waiting list and getting closer to having all plots being cultivated. Once all the rubbish has been cleared, there will be more plots to let out.

Change of stewards – Margaret Road

We are pleased to welcome Rachel Moulton as our new field steward for the top riding at Margaret Road. John Negus is now steward for the second riding. Our thanks and best wishes go to Lee Farmer and Claire Wallis who have now stepped down from being stewards on this field.

Rachel Moulton 07429 138 114


Discount at Hevey

One of our members has negotiated a discount for us at Hevey – a fabulous supplier of timber, tools, kitchens etc etc.  When you visit their branch on Gerrard Way, near Telford Way, just identify yourself as a member of Kettering Allotments Society and ask for their discount on your purchases.

Allotments in the news

Why not try No-dig ?

latest news from Charles Dowding

Demolition at Scott Road entrance

The former garages are being demolished ready for building new council homes