Monday, 29 March 2021

Spring News

We’d like to bring you up to date on news and issues on the site.

Nesting Season

Spring is here and the considerable bird populations of the allotments have started to build their nests. The bird nesting season goes from March to August and hedge trimming during this time is best avoided.  In fact damaging or destroying  birds' nests is illegal, see for more information.

We have had nesting Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Robins, Blue, Coal and Great Tits, and the wonderful Long Tailed Tits, not to mention Wood Pigeons and Magpies. Birds with declining populations like Dunnock and House Sparrows are found in very good numbers on the allotments. Lots of good advice on how to look after hedges and encourage birds at  As well as trees and hedges, birds may be nesting in piles of brash/hedge trimmings that have been cleared from plots and boundaries around the site.

Considering the Neighbours

There’s a lot of activity on the site now, which is great!  We have had reports, though, of some things causing a nuisance:  children being allowed to wander onto or through neighbouring plots; dogs not closely supervised by their owners and allowed to wander or bark continually; radios etc. played loudly enough to disturb neighbouring plotholders.  Whenever you’re enjoying your garden, please help others to enjoy theirs too.


A few tenants have found asbestos on their plots while clearing areas ready for the growing season.  A specialist company will be visiting the site (and others in the city) in early May to pick up asbestos.  If you have found asbestos on your plot, please let us know, with details of what and where it is, and if possible with a photo of the material and location.  If you can do this before we do our full inspection in the week beginning 5th April, that will help us to draw up a list and information for YACIO to pass on to the company.

All the best,

Claire and Graham

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Spring is in the air

We're hoping that there won't be any deep or prolonged periods of frost now, so we've turned the water supplies to the allotments back on and checked the taps.

Site Secreatries Graham and Claire plan to do their first full inspection of all the plots on the site during the week beginning 5th April, following the Easter weekend so it's time to get busy!

Sunday, 10 January 2021

News (and an invoice) from YACIO

Allotment invoices from YACIO (York Allotments Charitable Incorporated Organisation) will be dropping through your letterbox any day now if they have not already arrived. 

Enclosed with the invoice is a newsletter with information on

  • the cultivation standards expected of plot holders
  • pruning blackcurrants (spoiler alert: do it now!)
  • helping hedgehogs
  • the need for more Trustees to help YACIO function.

It goes without saying that the plot fee is well worth the money, but the newsletter is well worth the read too!

Thursday, 7 January 2021

New shop stocklist for 2021 now available

We thought it might be useful for you to see the items we'll be stocking in the Association shop this year so you can start to make some gardening plans. You can see the stocklist on the shp page here.                     

Prices will be shown on order forms once we re-start the Select and Collect service - lockdown permitting. Watch this space and look out for other communications in due course.

Friday, 1 January 2021

A happy (and healthy!) new year to all

Many of us will be glad to see the back of 2020 for more reasons than the obvious and, thankfully, this New Year seems to dawn with special promise of better times to come.We send good wishes to all members and all those who garden at Scarcoft, Hospital Fields and Hob Moor for a happy, healthy and productive 2021.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Why not come along to our end-of season get-together at the Shop hut on Scarcroft Allotments, from 11:00 on 9th December. There will be mulled wine (+ soft drinks) and mince pies - bring your own mug!! The shop will be closing after this for the winter break.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Did you know the variety of wildlife you could encounter on allotments such as Scarcroft Site ? Check out our information below! 

Also available from Scarcroft Shop in a more-easily-readable leaflet form :) 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Mikron Theatre's latest performance 'Pure', at Scarcroft Allotments

We are over-the-moon to once again welcome Mikron Theatre to Scarcroft Allotments for the fifth time...
And even better - linking in with York's chocolate heritage, they will be performing the premiere of their latest production, 'Pure, The Business of Chocolate'. If you haven't yet seen Mikron's unique story telling, witty performances then this is a must; and if you have, well we're confident that this latest offering will tickle your taste buds just as before.

Tuesday 7th June at 7pm on the green triangle, Scarcroft Allotments.
No tickets required. Cash collection to be taken after the show

Gardener's Question Time review

The recording of BBC Radio 4's Gardener's Question Time at Clements Hall on Monday 18th April proved to be as entertaining and informative as any gardener could wish for. The buzz of anticipation was apparent as we queued up outside the venue early that evening - sharing the wording of our questions and pondering upon whom may be on the panel to answer those who were lucky enough (and brave) to be selected. It was a full house, all tickets sold out within 48 hours of going on sale the previous week, the audience was keen...

Yet, the backstory of how we came to this point will not be known by many. It was more than three years ago that committee member, Sarah Austin first proposed the Association put in an application to the BBC. So together the committee put their collective heads together and duly submitted one. Nothing was heard and it was assumed we had been unsuccessful... that is until the Beeb phoned Graham Sanderson (Chair) just 4 weeks prior to the proposed recording date. Emails flew in all directions... could we deliver in such a short time frame? After meeting with Linda Speidel, manager of Clements Hall, it was clear everyone was on board and keen to proceed. After a successful sound check by the BBC's technical crew we were given the green light... the cat was out of the bag and the horse was running (or is it the other way round?) Tickets went on sale and the rest is history. Our heartfelt thanks are due to Judith and her team at Clements Hall for taking up this unexpected challenge and tackling it so brilliantly and with such enthusiasm. Thanks are also due to Scarcroft School for the loan of their staging, and to all other individuals whose contributions made this event proceed so smoothly.

So what of the recording...?
The questions from ten intrepid participants were selected, and they were duly seated along the front row. The scene was set, the producer had done his warm-up act, and the panel was introduced...

Chaired by Eric Robson, the panel comprised, Matthew Wilson, Christine Walkden and Bob Flowerdew, each tackling the questions, 'discussing the purposes and positives of show gardens and advising on how to get the most out of supermarket herbs. They also recommend climbing plants fit for adorning a child's climbing frame and unusual plants to put in raised planters' ( To hear all questions and answers, the airing of the programme can still be heard here on BBC iplayer.

The recording also provided an interesting insight into how the programme itself was constructed. There was the occassional break in questions for the chair, Eric Robson to say specific pieces, such as his link to the recording made at York Minster earlier that day, as well as the re-recording of brief pieces of speaking.

The airing of the programme took place on 29th April. It was only through listening to it that everything fell into place, including the significance of making a recording in York. For we learned that the concept and design of Matthew Wilson's garden at Chelsea Flower show was inspired by the Minster's medieval Great East Window, and is titled, 'God's Own County - A Garden For Yorkshire'.

To sum up, it was a memorable evening's entertainment born out of a tiny seed planted three years previously, that was well nurtured to the point of harvest, and then supported and consumed by our city wide gardening community.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Bouncing in to Spring with a whole lot of news

The newsletter sums it up! What a week of news, and what a lot of dates to put in your diaries...
Look out for follow-up information on many of these events.
You may also wish to follow us on Facebook
Look forward to seeing you soon! 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Pumpkins Galore!

With pumpkin season well under way this is a timely reminder of an Allotment Pumpkin Challenge organised by the City of York Council. If you believe your pumpkins have what it takes, then why not pick up the gauntlet and get in touch with Darren Lovatt the council's Allotment Officer and register your interest. Judging takes place on 1st November, so don't delay...

The photo below shows an impressive display of pumpkins laid out and hardening off at our local Brunswick organic nursery in Bishopthorpe. To see them in the flesh why not pop along to their 'Pumpple Festival' this Sunday 26th October, when they will be celebrating all things 'pumpkintastic' and 'applicious'. How can you not resist!!!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Cycling & Allotments

There can be few people in Yorkshire not looking forward to next years Tour de France Grand Depart. It's going to be quite some party! Those lucky cyclists and visitors are going to be sampling some of the best countryside and hospitality in the country... or indeed the World. 

According to the Lonely Planet travel guides for 2014, Yorkshire has been named as the third top global region to visit! And we can't argue with that...

Here in York, Stage 2 of Le Grand Depart begins just across the road from our Hospital Fields and Scarcroft allotment sites before heading into the city along Bishopthorpe Road. Check out the official route and zoom in for more detail...

Continuing the cycling theme, we're pleased to announce that the Hob Moor allotment site now also has 2 cycle stands. These have been provided for free by the lovely people at Parkthatbike

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

2014 Calendar

It's at the printers and will soon be on sale! 

Here's a sneak preview of our 2014 Calendar and it's looking great with thanks to all those who contributed photos to this community project. It will be on sale in the allotment shop by the end of the month priced £5 (what a splendid Christmas gift!!) 

Once again we're fortunate to be supported by our fabulous local businesses: Pextons, Frankie and Johnny's & The Good Food Shop all on Bishopthorpe Road, who will also be selling the calendar for us.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Member's photographs

Here are just a few photos taken by members of the association.  If you'd like to email in any of your pictures that would be great! It's always nice to see what's going on elsewhere - a bit like peering over the garden wall!

If we receive enough photos we will once again be compiling an association calendar 2014 
Please email your pics to:

Sarah Austin
Iris Wells
Eric Leadley

Sally Hayes

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bee safari review

Saturday afternoon saw an intrepid & elite group of wildlife stalkers do battle with heat and flies as they traipsed through Scarcroft allotments on a quest to discover more about the local bee population. Alison Reboul of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust courageously led the troup on the safari pointing out nest sites and identifying different types of bumblebee along the way. Unlike the honey bee, the greatest threat to a bumblebee's survival is the loss of habitat. It was therefore of particular interest which flowers were the most beneficial and what sort of conditions encourage nesting. 

The afternoon proved to be really interesting and informative, as well as a great way to relax and take time out from all the other allotment jobs. To round off the afternoon, there was a choice of four different types of honey cake and biscuits, all washed down with home made redcurrant syrup!

For more information on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust please see the following link:

Identifying a bumblebee 
Honey bees on borage
Honey bee hive
(apparently full of honey!)
Bumblebee on roses
Bumblebees on lavender