Friday, 31 December 2010

New Hedgehog Course for March

Britain’s hedgehogs are in serious decline and the hedgehog has now been placed on the Red List of threatened species in need of conservation
A course, consisting of an illustrated talk and workshop, will be held by Toni Bunnell
Sunday March 6, 2011 1.30 – 4pm
Black Swan Inn
, 23 Peasholme Green, York, YO1 7PR 01904 679 131
Entry: £10
To secure a place on the course, please contact Toni Bunnell (details below).
Course content:
Reasons for the decline of hedgehogs in Britain
First aid treatment
How to treat sick or injured hedgehogs
Caring for baby hedgehogs
Encouraging hedgehogs into your garden
Proceeds to go to York Hedgehog Rescue Centre
with 10% to go to Hull Hedgehog Rescue Centre (Lorraine Jackson)

For information contact: Toni Bunnell (01904 791124)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Scarcroft Community Orchard Further Update

Dear Friends,

After talking with Brian from Parks at CYC and with the tree supplier at Rogers nurseries this morning, we have, sad to say, decided that it is better not to plant this weekend. We risk too much harm to the trees, and further wintry conditions will mean we can't care for them properly to get good establishment. We will hope to plant towards the end of January/beginning of February, when we have an idea of how conditions are then.

Many thanks for all your enthusiasm for this project - it will happen!

'Til then, keep warm, and enjoy happy festive times.

Best Wishes

Laura Potts

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Scarcroft Community Orchard Update

Please note that the Scacroft Community Orchard planting has been postponed until Saturday 18th December 10 - 3pm.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Scarcroft and District Allotment Association 2010 Calendar is selling fast

This is proving to be very popular, so if you don't want to miss out get your copy soon.  You can get them from:
  • The Association Shop on the Scarcroft Site
  • Pextons - the hardware shop on Bishopthorpe Road
  • The Good Food Shop - on Bishopthorpe Road
  • or by emailing the association on

At only £5 they make an excellent Christmas present.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Autumn Social

It's that time of year again.  Join us this Friday at the Golden Ball Pub from 7.30pm onwards for the Scarcroft and District Allotment Association Autumn Social.  It's a great opportunity to discuss the successes and failures of the season.  This event was very popular when we held the first one last Autumn, so much so that not everyone could fit in the pub so get there early this time to ensure you get in.

The Golden Ball is a great little CAMRA pub, which sells a good selection of real ales along with all the usual stuff. It's the place where we hold all the committee meetings. If you walk through Victoria Bar from Nunnery Lane it is straight ahead and on the right.

The committee will be providing nibbles.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Community Orchard Planting

Come help plant the community orchard on Scarcroft Green.  Allotment holders with their own tools and experience of tree planting are particularly welcome.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

2011 Allotment Association Calendar is on sale now

Did you know that our beautiful 2011 Scarcroft and District Allotment Association Calendar is on sale now, at £5 each?  This lovely calendar is made up of 60 different photographs taken by plotholders (from Hob Moor, Hospital Field and Scarcroft) and private gardeners.  It was expertly compiled by Sarah Austin, a Hob Moor plotholder and talented graphic designer.  Please note that we only printed 300 copies and we have 254 members, so please get yours soon to avoid missing out.
Front cover
A month view

If you want to pick up a copy, you can get one from Pexton's or the Good Food Shop on Bishopthorpe Road or at the Allotment Association shop on the Scarcroft site, or by asking any of the site secretaries (on Scarcroft Claire Pickard and Graham Sanderson, on Hob Moor Malcolm Hainsworth, on Hospital Field Chris Adams).  Johnny and Frankie from Pextons and Caroline from the Good Food Shop have very kindly offered to help us sell our calendars, without any benefit to themselves, except the warm glow of knowing that they are supporting a local community group.  We think this is particularly generous when you consider how precious display space is at this time of year. So thank you very much.

By the way did you know that the Good Food Shop has a weekly newletter?  It highlights new and interesting products they are selling, gives recipes and is often really quite entertaining.  If you are not yet a subscriber, email and Caroline Lewis will add you to the mailing list.  Let her know that you heard about her email from our website.

Please remember that the Scarcroft and District Allotment Association shop is only open at weekends Saturday 1.30 - 3.30 and Sunday 10 - 1pm (and only 11 - 1pm in December).

Vote for Holgate Windmill

On Monday 22nd of November, you, colleagues and friends will be able to vote for York's Holgate Windmill Society and help us win £50,000 from the National Lottery People's Millions, arrranged in conjunction with ITV. Two worthy causes are being featured each evening on ITV Calendar news, for four nights. Our Windmill is appearing on Monday November 22nd, along with a Rotherham-based Arts project. Viewers and other supporters can ring a special phone no to vote for their favourite. So either York or Rotherham will be the winner. The voting phone number for Holgate Windmill will only be advertised from 9am to midnight on November 22nd on our website at at and in the Daily Mirror. You can ring between these times to register your vote.

We invite you to support the only Peoples Millions project in North Yorkshire, by voting Nov 22nd. Please put the date in your diary. Your vote that day will really count, and should we win, then the £50,000 award will be a significant contribution to replacing the Mill's five main sails next year.

Grateful thanks

Paul Hepworth

Press Officer

Holgate Windmill Preservation Society

Friday, 12 November 2010

Autumn Leaves

The heaps of fallen leaves everywhere will make great leaf-mould to spread on your soil in a year or so's time. Just gather them up in a black plastic bag, put a few air holes in the bag with a fork and leave them in a corner until they've rotted down... free compost to enrich and protect the soil over winter next year!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Edible York: The Launch Event

Friday 19 November 2010, 6.30-9.00pm, Friends Meeting House, Friargate,York

Do you want to be part of a more resilient, self-sufficient York? Come along
to our free, lively launch event and help shape an Edible York.

More information:
0777 908 6713

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Scarcroft Surgery

Not a health check for tenants but for trees. As part of York City Council's programme of care for allotment sites, Judith Ward organised a day of tree surgery today on the Scarcroft site. And we - the Association - provided teams of volunteers through the day to move the results to be chipped on site. More time for the experts from Arborwise to do the skilled work while we do the dragging... Many thanks to everone involved in a good day's work!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Carved pumpkins

Have you got any to add? If so please send them to

Mike gets help to find the water pipes

Right down the rat hole!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Volunteer Rosta for 2nd Nov

Thank you to all those who have volunteered to drag branches cut down by the tree surgeon, working on Scarcroft on the 2nd of November, to the shredder.  Judith Ward, the allotment officer, asked us to have 2/3 volunteers to be available across the day, so it looks like we now have our full team.

Please bring thick gloves and a warm coat.  You may also want to bring your own secateurs and loppers.

Thank you all for helping.  Let's hope it doeesn't rain.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Pumpkin Carving

Please send in any photos of pumpkins you have carved to   We would like to display them on the website.

Calendar 2011 - the contributors

The 2011 Scarcroft and District Allotment Association calendar has gone to the printers.  It should be available in the shop from the 6th of November for £5.  Below is a list of all the contributors that were selected.  Well done to you all!

A special thanks should go to Sarah Austin of Sarah Austin Creative and a Hob Moor Plotholder for her HOURS of dedication to this project.

Green Waste Skip at Scarcroft

This weekend, 29th to 31st October, there will be a green waste skip near the Hut at the Scarcroft Road end of the Scarcroft site.  Green waste only, please.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Greenhouse for sale on Scarcroft

Good sized greenhouse for sale - £50
Currently situated in the middle of the Scarcroft site.
Part glass, part plastic.  Includes staging.
Whoever buys it will need to be responsible for taking it down to move it.
Contact the asscociation for more details and to find out exactly what plot it is on.

Scarcroft Tree Day - Volunteers needed - 2nd November

We need volunteers to help drag branches to a shredder on Tuesday 2nd November for 1 - 2 hour time slots from 9am  - 4pm .

Judith Ward, the council allotment officer, has arranged for a tree surgeon to carry out some urgent tree removal work on the Scarcroft site.  This work will principally focus on removal of ash and sycamores.  The council only has budget for one day's worth of work at the moment, so the Scarcroft and District Allotment association committee thought that in order to maximise the tree surgeon's time we would form a volunteer working party to do things like pulling branches to the shredder and thereby maximise the amount of skilled work the tree surgeon could do in a day.  Any help you are able to offer would be greatly appreciated.  We are looking for people to sign up for slots during the day, the aim being to have 2 - 3 people available to help the tree surgeon all day.  If you are able to help please contact the association on and say when you would like to help.

Please note that which trees are a priority has already been decided.  The association has conducted a thorough tree survey of the site and made recommendations to Judith.  Our recommendation have endeavoured to identify which trees grow the fastest, produce seeds which quickly shoot on neighbouring plots, impact plots by shading, are a problem to local houses and are least beneficial to wildlife.  Judith has the final decision and she has tried her utmost to take a balanced and fair approach.  There are many 'problem' trees on Scarcroft and this tree surgeon day will not be able to deal with all of them.  However, this is a start.  Both Judith and the committee also acknowledge there are also many trees on the site which are beneficial to wildlife and are appreciated by plot holder and local residents alike.  These trees are not the subject of this tree surgeon day.

If you would like a copy of the final tree survey please contact the association.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Pumpkin Pilfering Alert

This time of year pumpkin pilfering is rife so please, if you want to enjoy your own pumpkins or at least not come down to your plot to find they have done a runner or been smashed to pieces, make sure you take them home.

These lovely photos are of George Foster's pumpkins, taken by Luke Bevan.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Deadline for entries to the 2011 calendar looms

After the success of the 2009 calendar and a short lie down and breather, the Scarcroft and District Allotment Association is now producing one for 2011.  The calendar will be made up of photos taken by plotholders and local residents - basically anyone who is a member of the association.  If you would like the chance of your photos being included in the 2011 calendar please e-mail your images to or bring them in on a disc/USB stick to the association shop. Please mark them with your name and which site your are from or where the photo was taken.  Photos should be taken on Hob Moor, Hospital Fields or Scarcroft or other York allotment plots.  If they are not taken on the plots they shouls show fruit/veg grown on the plots. Images can show people, produce, the plots or wildlife. Both landscape and portrait are fine.  If you include pictures of children please make sure you have their and their parents permission.  We will try to include a wide range of photographers in the calendar so everyone has a good chance.
Deadline for submitting photos – Saturday October 16th 2010.

We hope to have them on sale by the first week of November - £5 each.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Manure and Chippings Delivery on Scarcroft

There has been a delivery of (cattle) manure and chippings to the Scarcroft site.  The manure is £1.50 per barrow, the chippings are 50p a barrow. Please pay in the allotment shop.  If you want to pay when the shop is not open please put the money in an envelope with your name (and plot number if you have one) on it and put it in the allotment shop letter box. 

The manure is the same stuff that they use at Brunswick Organic Nurseries.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Tom's Retirement Party

Thanks to all who came to Tom's retirement tea party in the shop yesterday and thank you to Laura Potts for organising it.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Blog plea

Dear all
I'm looking for someone to write a monthly allotment blog for a new York publication (provisionally called Lumina). If you think monthly would be too much, you could do bi-monthly with someone else.

If you're interested, please send a sample September submission of around 400-500 words.


Caroline Boreham (scarcroft)

ps if anyone wants to dig up some happy parsley plants, which will come up again next year, let me know - they are swamping my asparagus. 

To get in touch with Caroline please email the association and we will put you in touch with her.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Recipes from the summer party - Elderberry Syrup

This is another delicious recipe which  came from the Scarcroft & District Allotment Association summer feast.

Elderberry Syrup - makes about 1 pint
1lb elderberries
1lb sugar to every pint of juice
1 lemon
Strip fruit from the stems, cover with water in a stainless steel pan.
Add zest of the lemon. simmer for 30 minutes or until soft.
Strain through muslin or a jelly bag. Add the sugar and lemon juice.
Boil for 10 minutes, cool and store in a sterilised bottle.

Thanks to Jill Shepherd for this one.

Have you seen the padlock to Scarcroft main gates?

Have you, by any chance, walked off with the padlock from the main gate at Scarcroft last Saturday?  If you have absent mindedly put it in your pocket by accident please contact the association by emailing or by putting in the post box on the front of the shop. 

If we do not get it back we will be issuing new keys in the shop soon, although we'd much prefer to get it back as it will be very expensive to replace all the keys.


The shop team

Tom's Retirement Tea Party in the Allotment Shop

Tom Walters has volunteered in the allotment shop and been Shop Manager for many years. He has now decided to retire from the committee and as Shop Manager so that he is free to spend more time in his caravan with his wife Janice and with his grand and great grandchildren. The Association would like to thank him for his many years of service. To this end we will be holding a tea party in the shop in his honour this saturday the 25th of September at 3.30pm. The committee will be laying on tea and cakes. Please join us if you would like a chance to thank Tom for all his years of hard work and for standing in the cold in the Association hut.

Sara, Patrick and Tom in the hut

Mike, Tom and Caroline on a stock buying trip

Recipes from the Summer Party - Greek Courgette Pie

I have been nagging Katy Brierley since the party to share this with us.  It is the recipe for the dill and mint filo pastry dish she brought.  It went down a storm.  For the details see below

Greek courgette pie (can be made with spinach)

Ingredients  - for 10-12 people
  • 1 kg courgettes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 1 pack of filo pastry
  • 300g feta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 120ml double cream
  • bunch of dill
  • bunch of parsley
  • mint leaves stripped from 2-3 stems
  • milk for glazing
  • sesame seeds for scattering
Grate courgettes and salt them-allow them to drain for 30 mins.
Fry both types of onions in olive oil 'till soft-add courgettes. Fry for 15 mins untill excess liquid evaporates.
Preheat oven to 200.
Place 3 sheets of oiled filo in base of 30x40 oven tray.
Pour in courgette mixture. Crumble over feta.
Beat eggs and cream and drizzle over the top, add herbs and salt and pepper.

 Fold in the filo sheets enclosing the mixture or add more sheets on to, sealing them into the sides of the tin. Brush with oil and scatter sesame seeds on top.

Cook for about 1 hour. Cool for 15 mins before eating.

Thanks Katy

Sweet Chilli Jam

Another good recipe to do with your produce at this time of year.

Thanks Eric Leadley for this one.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

York Food and Drink Festival

Our Allotments officer, Judith Ward, will be running a stall at this event.  She'll be providing a stall on York allotments - photos, text, leaflets and a match-the-seed-to-the-crop quiz.  If you are around, pop along to support her and say hello and, of course, to enjoy the event.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Eat the Landscape

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) is hoping to get their hands on our glut (see below)....

YWT has been invited to co-host an evening entitled “Eat the Landscape” at the York Festival of Food and Drink, an event which takes place in September each year, providing a 10 day city-wide event to promote local and regional food and drink and generating up to 150,000 visitors over the 10days.

When – Saturday September 18th 5-9pm

Where - the Fountain Café on Parliament St. This will be a drop in event with Yorkshire food on offer and Yorkshire Real Ales (plus wine, soft drinks etc.) from the Beer Tent which together with the Fountain Café and Grazing Café forms one large licensed area at night.

YWT are planning to host 5 stalls each one showcasing different aspects of the Trust’s work and how this impacts on the food we eat. They need to be stands that tell stories and show diversity in food.

The stalls are:
  • Bee-keeping
  • Peatlands and grazing
  • Stewardship
  • Eating local
  • Membership
The local food stall will include information on the benefits of eating locally including a display about our vegetable garden in Hull and hopefully some produce. YWT are hoping local allotment owners will bring us some of their glut to give away in return for donations to the Trust. Glut can be dropped off between 4.30 and 7.30 on the night to Parliament Sq

What a feast!

Thank you everyone who came to our Scarcroft and District Allotment Feast last Sunday.  You all brought such lovely food, fabulous displays of your produce, unusual veg, delicious jams and mountains of glut.  It was great to see so many people from Scarcroft, Hob Moor and Hospital Field and in particular so many children enjoying themselves. 

Plot on a Plate Entries

Making Potato Beasts
Thanks to Rory for the music.

Thank you for your kind messages so many of you have sent to our email address or via facebook, you have made us all feel like it was really worthwhile.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Last week's moth and bat night

On Friday 3rd of September we held another bat and moth night on Scarcroft Allotments.  Around 20 people attended the bat walk on which many bats were detected and some were even seen.  There were plenty of bat detectors to go round and once again Joanne Hodgson, from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, provided interesting and entertaining facts about these tiny Scarcroft residents.
The open moth trap

While Joanne was busy bat detecting, David  Baker, from Butterfly Conservation Yorkshire and his colleague also called David, set up their moth traps.  One trap was on all night and was emptied in the morning, the other was more open (see below) and was only on for an hour.  The Davids captured and identified the moths in the temporary trap, so that by the time the bat folk returned they had loads of moths to look at.  One thing I didn't know is that if you kneel on the floor by a moth trap at night moths will fly up your trouser legs unless you tuck your trousers in your socks.

The following morning David and David were back.  They set up a display in the shade of the trees by the shop and between 9 and 10.30am a steady stream of interested parties came to look at the moths on display in plastic tubes.  It was interesting how different the range of species was to those caught earlier in the year.  There were 52 different species caught, all of which were common.  We are certainly very popular with Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing, as he trapped 181 of them. The full list is below.

Thanks again to Joanne, David and David for an excellent, entertaining and educational evening.

Scarcroft Allotments Moth Traps 1 September 3rd 2010

Code Taxon Vernacular Individuals Status
0998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 4 Common
1076 Celypha lacunana 5 Common
1707 Idaea seriata Small Dusty Wave 1 Common
1728 Xanthorhoe fluctuata fluctuata Garden Carpet 1 Common
1835 Eupithecia tripunctaria White-spotted Pug (melanic) 1 Common
1862 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug 1 Common
1937 Peribatodes rhomboidaria Willow Beauty 3 Common
2087 Agrotis segetum Turnip Moth 1 Common
2102 Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder 2 Common
A large yellow underwing
2107 Noctua pronuba Large Yellow Underwing 181 Common
2109 Noctua comes Lesser Yellow Undewing 18 Common
2110 Noctua fimbriata Bd-bord/d Y. Underwing 3 Common
2123 Diarsia rubi Small Square-spot 1 Common
2126 Xestia c-nigrum Setaceous Hebrew Character 14 Common
2134 Xestia xanthographa Square-spot Rustic 11 Common
2199 Mythimna pallens Common Wainscot 2 Common
2297 Amphiptra pyramidea Copper Underwing 2 Common
2299 Amphipyra tragopognis Mouse Moth 2 Common
2361 Hydraecia micacea Rosy Rustic 6 Common
2384 Hoplodrina ambigua Vine's Rustic 1 Common
2474 Rivula sericealis Straw Dot 2 Common
2477 Hypena proboscidalis Snout 1 Common
0424 Yponomeuta evonymella Bird-cherry Ermine 3 Common
0647 Hofmannophila pseudospretella Brown House Moth 1 Common
0937 Agapeta hamana 2 Common
0972 Pandemis heparana Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix 2 Common
0993 Clepsis spectrana Cyclamen Tortrix 3 Common
0998 Epiphyas postvittana Light Brown Apple Moth 2 Common
1020 Cnephasia stephensiana Grey Tortrix 1 Common
1036 Acleris forsskaleana 1 Common
1063 Celypha striana 1 Common
1076 Celypha lacunana 6 Common
1175 Epiblema uddmanniana Bramble Shoot Moth 1 Common
1183 Epiblema foenella 1 Common
1288 Alucita hexadactyla Twenty-plume Moth 1 Common
1293 Chrysoteuchia culmella Garden Grass-veneer 3 Common
1305 Agriphila tristella 7 Common
1376 Eurrhypara hortulata Small Magpie 8 Common
Joanne Hodgson, from Yorkshire Wildllife Trust
1378 Phlyctaenia coronata 21 Common
1388 Udea lutealis 1 Common
1392 Udea olivalis 1 Common
1405 Pleuroptya ruralis Mother of Pearl 5 Common
1439 Trachycera advenella 1 Common
1653 Habrosyne pyritoides Buff Arches 2 Common
1669 Hemithea aestivaria Common Emerald 1 Common
1708 Idaea dimidiata Single-dotted Wave 3 Common
1713 Idaea aversata Riband Wave 4 Common
1713 Idaea aversata ab. remutata Riband Wave [non-banded form 3 Common
1728 Xanthorhoe fluctuata  Garden Carpet 1 Common
1738 Epirrhoe alternata Common Carpet 2 Common
1754 Eulithis prunata Phoenix 7 Common
1817 Eupithecia pulchellata Foxglove Pug 4 Common

Please click on this link to see the full set of photos.  If you can help identify any of  the moths in the photos please write it in  the caption.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Hedgehog course

What more could you want?  This course is brought to you by Toni Bunnell one of our Scarcroft plotholders.  Who doesn't love hedgehogs, eh?

Free Compost and Grow Your Own Course

It's free, it's useful and it's from our good friends at St Nicholas's Fields.