Monday, 18 July 2022

Summer update

Heatwave precautions

We hope you're all keeping well, especially during the heatwave this week.  

If you have a pond on your allotment, please try to keep it topped up during hot, dry weather; if you don't have easy access to rainwater from a butt, tap water left to stand in an open container for a couple of days will become gradually less alkaline and can be used to top up.  If you're planning to make a new pond on your allotment, please contact us first to ask for a permission form to fill in - it's a simple process similar to the one used to get permission for structures such as sheds and greenhouses.

Plot inspection

We've just done our fourth inspection of the season.  While the majority of plots are being well gardened, and a number of previously neglected plots have been transformed by new tenants, we have found some cases of neglect recently. On a well-established plot (rather than a neglected plot you've only recently taken on as a new tenant), YACIO's stipulation in the tenancy agreement - that the allotment must be well maintained with the majority used for growing crops with weeds and other excessive vegetation kept in check - should be seen as a basic requirement; if the majority of the plot (i.e. over half) is not under cultivation, YACIO will issue a warning letter.

On some plots at this time of year, there can be an issue with tall, seeding grasses; please cut these down and compost the cuttings - any vegetation cleared from your plot must be composted or taken away. We have seen several places recently on the site where tenants are dumping material cut from their plots.  This is not acceptable and YACIO has followed up instances of this in the past.

Sadly, there have been a few reported instances of vandalism, anti-social behaviour and the theft of plants or crops.  Please continue to report incidents to the police via 101 or the North Yorkshire Police website.  It's also a very good idea to mark your plot number on the underside of any garden furniture on your plot, so that it can be returned to you if anyone takes it to another part of the site.

The Collective Sharehouse

We'd like to pass on a message from a local charity that some of you have supported in the past:

The Collective Sharehouse would welcome donations of fresh fruit/veg if people have a surplus and would like to contribute to this community food support, in the heart of the Micklegate ward. 

‘Robust’ fruit & veg would be most suitable and it can be dropped in to The Sharehouse whenever it’s open – Tues & Fri 9:15-11am or Weds 5-6pm. 

The Sharehouse is located within Clement’s Hall and accessed via the rear entrance on Cygnet St (at the bottom end of Swan St). 

We continue to share food on 80+ occasions every week with families and residents who are facing financial hardship and we are encouraging cooking and using fresh produce as much as possible. So any and all help/donations will be gratefully received! 

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

AGM coming up soon!

The Association 2022 AGM will take place on Thursday 16th June at the Hamilton Panthers Clubhouse, Little Knavesmire.

The meeting starts at 7:30pm and memeber of the current committee will be there well before that.

This is your chance to hear about the Association's activities during the last year and to vote (and, perhaps, to stand for!) the committee 

You can view the papers for the meeting here.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Clearing brash and saplings from the Scarcroft site


In March, YACIO approved the cutting of several overgrown hedges and about twenty-five self-sown saplings on the site. 

Last Monday, 11th April, twenty volunteers from Good Gym brought down masses of the brash and cut timber to the car park.  They did a fantastic job, moving in 45 minutes, what would have taken the site secretaries days to achieve!

They added a huge heap to the pile that site secretaries had moved down at the weekend.  The material was all shredded on the following morning, so wood chippings are again available as they were after the Association’s hedge and site care day in February: Help yourselves!

Friday, 8 April 2022

Coming soon to Scarcroft: the mighty Mikron Theatre Company

 "Through the chronicles of history people have gazed up and marvelled at the mysteries of the weather."

The weather, talking about the weather and planning for the weather occupy a central place in British hearts and minds - perhaps even more so for allotment holders and gardeners. 

Come and enjoy Mikron Theatre Company's production of Red Sky at Night at Scarcroft Allotments. Curtain up at 2pm on Sunday 22nd May.

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Job Vacancy

We are looking for a personal assistant/support worker to support a Hob Moor allotment holder with gardening and other activities as part of a small, friendly team

Thursdays 9.30-3.30pm; 2 or 3 Saturdays a month 10-4pm; and 1 or 2 Sundays a month 10-4pm.
£10.20 per hour, 5.6 weeks holiday

For details and an application form email or text or phone Emma on 07930 609355

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Come along to our Site Care Day

Sunday 6th February 2022


Come along and help us tidy up the site, do a litter pick,
and clear mud from the paths.

There will be a chipper to deal with hedge clippings and branches.

Meet at the allotment shop at 2pm.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Annual General Meeting coming up!

 You are warmly invited to attend the Association's AGM.

This year we're holding our AGM online, using Zoom on the evening of Wednesday 24th November at 7:30 pm

Holding an AGM now is necessary to comply with our constitution, which requires an AGM be held within thirteen months of the last one. Regrettably we are not able to arrange to hold an in-person meeting at this time. We do intend to hold our next AGM in person in the spring of 2022, to get back to our usual routine.
The agenda and draft minutes from 2020 are avaialble to download from this link

We intend to send out the audited accounts balance sheet and the Chair's Report before the meeting.   

If you would like to attend this Zoom meeting, please reply to Association to let us know.  We will then forward you the necessary link and joining information.

We are always pleased to welcome members onto the committee.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please let us know.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Logs and saplings

As a result of some tree work on the site, there are a lot of sycamore logs near the top of the site: the majority are stacked neatly alongside the path that runs along the back of Wentworth Road, and there are a few more stacked just above the point where this path meets the main path that runs diagonally through the site.  If you have a use for these logs, please help yourselves!

Early autumn is a good time to check for any self-sown tree saplings in your hedges or on your plot.  Most of these are ash or sycamore, and if they're left to develop, they will cast unwanted shade and reduce the growing potential of your allotment where the roots spread.  Cutting these saplings now while they're small will save you major (and potentially very expensive!) problems in the future.  Once you have cut any saplings down, check the stumps every year for spindly re-growth, which should also be removed to preserve a well-managed hedge.

Friday, 15 October 2021

More news from the allotment shop

A brief update to let you know that we now have garlic in at the Scarcroft shop, at £18 a kilo. 

We are open for one hour, both on Saturdays 2pm and on Sundays 11am.  

We hope to see a manure delivery arrive in the next couple of weeks !

Clieck here for some RHS news of community projects in the running for their 2021 awards.

Monday, 4 October 2021

York Allotments Newlstter flags draft new tenancy agreement


York Allotments Charitable Incorporated Organisation (YACIO) which manages the 16 allotment sites previously run by City of York Council has published its September newsletter. It includes an article on a proposed new tenancy agreement designed to replace the current agreement which YACIO describe as "a hotchpotch of clauses some of which are outdated." You can read the draft here

The newletter also has articles on Site Maintenance and Development, Winter Onions, Safety on Allotments, Reporting Issues to the Police, and Green Manure. You can download it here

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Welcome to Autumn!


We're pleased we have managed to continue the shop service through recent difficulties. While we remain resurgent, there has not been quite so much footfall this year, and our merry band of volunteers have plenty of other interests to keep them going. However - many of you have asked about the return of Sunday opening..

So, to best serve everyone, we have decided to change our shop hours to:

  • SATURDAY  14:00-15:00 - ONE HOUR ONLY  
  • SUNDAY  11:00-12:00 - ONE HOUR ONLY

This will apply from October to end of this year (5th Dec).

(For September only, it will remain Saturday only, 13:00-15:00.)          

In the New Year we will then review and see how this change has been received.


Please download the form for your seed potato orders this year here

Due to ongoing concern about limited seed potato availability this year, we are asking you to return and place your orders by end October latest.

We are keeping prices at last year's levels (except pink fir apple).  

NB: Several potato varieties, and all red onions, are NOT AVAILABLE this year due to bad harvests. 


The annual general meeting for 2019- was held late (via Zoom) in Nov 2020. Under the constitution we must hold the next AGM by Nov 2021, to review year 2020. To do this we propose to hold the AGM again via Zoom and perhaps on Nov 24th. This will be confirmed in due course. (We then intend to restore the next AGM to its rightful place in April 2022.)   


Click here to read RHS September newsletter


Friday, 3 September 2021

News from our site secretaries

 We hope you’ve had a productive season on your allotment this year so far.

 If you do have any surplus produce, the message below from local councillor Jonny Crawshaw may be of interest:

Hope all is well on the allotments? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them looking so well-tended!  I’m just getting in touch as I wondered whether it might be possible to pass a message around Scarcroft Allotment Tenants that The Collective Sharehouse would welcome donations of fresh fruit/veg if people have a glut! They’ve suggested that ‘robust’ fruit & veg would be most suitable and it can be dropped in to The Sharehouse whenever they are open – Tues/Thurs/Fri 9-11am or Weds 5-7pm. The Sharehouse is located within Clement’s Hall and accessed via the rear entrance on Cygnet St (at the bottom end of Swann St). They are currently making around 80-100 shares per week - which they believe represents around 40-50 families/households - so any and all help/donations will be gratefully received! 

We’ve had some reports from tenants recently of unwanted visitors on their plot;, items such as cycles dumped, and sheds broken into.  Please do report any criminal or anti-social behaviour to the police on 101 – they may not be able to take any immediate action, but it does help them to build a picture of what is going on and they will increase patrols if there is an increase in problems.

Most of the asbestos on site that was identified by you and by us has now been removed; we’re aware of just two places where we’re still waiting for collection/assessment.  We shall be meeting Dave Meigh from City of York Council on site later this month to push these forward, so if you’re aware of any asbestos on your plot that you haven’t told us about, please do so in the next week or so.

We did a full site inspection over the weekend.  Although most plots have been well looked after over this season (see Councillor Crawshaw’s comment above!), there are some cases of neglect and we’ll be following this inspection up in another month or so.  The autumn is a great time for tidying your allotment and tackling unproductive areas in preparation for next season…

Finally, a local sixth-form student has asked us if tenants would like to respond to a survey they are doing for an A-level project about the social benefits of allotments. If you would like to respond to this, please use this link:

All the best,
Claire and Graham

Friday, 4 June 2021


Association lawn mower service cut

At a recent Zoom meeting of the Association committee, we discussed the lending of mowers to members, which has not happened for over a year now because of the Covid restrictions. Graham has been organising this, and he commented:

"I've been very concerned for quite some time about the Association's position if there were ever an accident with one of the mowers resulting in serious injury.  That's why I've tried to develop all the health and safety information and forms etc.  I think that, despite all those precautions, the Association (and me in particular as Chair and effectively the person overseeing the use of the mowers) would be legally liable. Our liability would not be limited - and I would be sorry to have to sell my house to pay for a claim!"   

While we appreciate that this service may be very much missed, the committee has decided that the Association will no longer lend mowers to members.  

If current members are interested in taking possession of a mower for personal use, please let us know by end of June and we will put names in a hat. Suitable donations would of course be welcome, but the mowers are offered as found and the Association cannot accept any liability for their condition or defects.  

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Great news from the Association: partial re-opening of the shop from Saturday 15th May 2021

The shop will be open from 2.00 to 3.30 p.m. on SATURDAYS for sales from the door.

A full stock and price list will be available at the door and you can download either as follows

List of seeds at

Current price list at

Please note that Select and Collect will NOT be operating - there is now no need to pre-order.

Pay by cash or cheque.

If you didn’t get round to renewing your membership by e-mail, you can renew in person.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Here's a little guide to help you find out more about insects on your allotment

Our thanks to Sara Robin for this guide to pollinators and other insects you can find on many allotments. Thanks too to Dr Roger Key for his expert help.
Allotments are one of the best places in which to find insects and there is great fun to be had in being able to identify the creatures you spot.
Many of these creatures pollinate your fruit and vegetables, but they may also have other benefits.  Hoverfly adults are pollinators and some of their larvae eat aphids. Lacewing and ladybird larvae also eat aphids, and some ground beetles eat slugs.You can download a pdf of the guide by clicking on this link