Plot Holders Information
Eligibility and Rent
Both allotment sites are owned by Henley Town Council, and you must reside within a 5-kilometre radius of central Henley to be eligible for a plot. The rent is reviewed annually and details of current rents can be found here.... Rents
Each site is managed by a Site Manager, who lets the plots on behalf of the Council. They manage plot lettings, tenant eviction, existing tenant issues, and all day-to-day matters concerning the sites. If you are interested in renting an allotment, please contact a Site Manager first to confirm that a plot is available.
Each new plot holder is required to sign an agreement between themselves and the Council. This agreement confirms the site rules, and clarifies the responsibilities the tenant has to the Council and the Council has to the tenant. It is essential that all tenants sign this agreement, and failure to do so will eventually result in eviction. Click here to see a copy of the agreement.
Tenants are required to cultivate their plot, keep it free from weeds, clean and tidy.
Many people take on an allotment in the winter months when there is little work to do. Please bear in mind that, in the spring and summer months, you will need to spend about 8-10 hours a week minimum on your plot to keep up with the workload! Once the spring starts, the weeds will grow at an unbelievable rate. Please bear this in mind when deciding if you want to rent a plot.
Once you have taken on a plot, there may be times when you neglect to maintain your plot. This can happen for a number of reasons, including illness, a change of personal circumstances, extended periods away from Henley (e.g. a holiday lasting more than 2 weeks), family commitments in another part of the country, etc. If you find you cannot keep on top of things, please find time to contact your Site Manager to discuss your situation, so that they are aware of why your plot is not being maintained. This will avoid any misunderstandings and may avoid notice being given to you.
Temporary help can sometimes be organised, or plots can be reduced in size to help. Please remember to do this, as Site Managers have always got a waiting list, and it is hard to explain to waiting tenants why there are unkempt plots on the sites.
For helpful notes on how to maintain your allotment, download the document here
Water is available on both sites, but is pumped up by hand at Greencroft from the water table below, and is on metered taps at Watermans. Water butts are kept by most plot holders, but these need to be netted in some way to avoid possible accidents with children playing. Please use the water that you need to water your crops, but try not to waste water, particularly at Watermans where the water bill can quickly escalate.
Bonfires are allowed, but there are guidelines that need to be followed: please see the tenancy agreement for the full guidelines. Please note that bonfires should not be lit on windy days; neighbours need to be considered at all times, and only the burning of dry plant material is allowed.
Composting is obviously encouraged, and many tenants use pallets to create compost bins on their plot. These are often available free of charge; please ask your Site Manager for further information. Green waste can be composted: most green waste can go on the compost heap as soon as it is dug up, but the more pernicious weeds (e.g. couch grass) need to be dried off until they have died before adding to the compost heap. If you wish to learn about how and what to compost, a link will be found in the External Links section.
An area of the Watermans site is used by the Council to shred wood chippings (at the south/west corner of the site near the wood). Watermans tenants are welcome to use these chippings on their plots: they provide good ground cover, and help retain moisture in the soil.
Non-green waste that you may have inherited from a previous plot holder/have collected yourself over the months should be taken off the site and disposed of at various tips. There are 3 tips nearby:
Maidenhead Recycling Centre, Stafferton Way, SL6 1AY
Smallmead Waste Management Facility, Island Road, Reading, near Madejski Stadium
Oakley Wood Recycling Centre, Oakley Wood, Henley Road, Crowmarsh, Nr Wallingford, OX10 6PW.
A trailer is available to ALL plot holders to use if required. Please ring Doug Richards on 01491-573046 if you wish to borrow it.
To the best of our knowledge, manure is currently available from Henry Stanley Compost (01980 862992). Please note that the Allotments Association cannot vouch for the quality of the manure provided nor any possible contamination.
Site Managers will often buy each site a large pile of manure around February/March time, for use by all tenants. It is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, with plot holders being limited to 5/6 wheelbarrows each for the first month. Please see the notice boards on site for more information.
The Allotment Association pays an annual fee for site insurance for both sites. This covers the following: Public and Products liability insurance (covers injury to a 3rd party on 1 of our sites) and Employers' liability insurance, (covers any member doing work for the Association). A fee is also paid for Insurance Tax and Administration.
Please note that the Association does not have a Personal Accident Insurance cover.
Insurance to cover sheds (theft and vandalism) has to be taken out by individual plot holders. To insure for theft and vandalism is very expensive, and requires tenants to comply with stringent security measures, e.g. shed doors to be secured by 5 lever mortice dead-locks or stout locking bars and 5 lever close-shackle padlocks; all windows to be protected by stout metal bars or grilles.
There is usually a £100 excess, and the premiums are around £10 per £100 sum insured, with a min. premium of £15 + 5% insurance tax and £7 admin fee.
Sheds and Greenhouses
These are allowed on both sites, but written permission is required from the Council. If you want to erect a shed or greenhouse, please contact the Site Manager first, to agree where it can be built. Please note that sheds and greenhouses are occasionally subject to attacks by vandals. Please do not keep any items of value in your shed. The site insurance taken out by the Allotment Association does not cover theft of tools or damage to sheds and greenhouses: private insurance needs to be taken out. Please see the section on insurance. Low, lockable tool-stores may be a better alternative and do not require Council permission.
There are no toilets on either site. However, Greencroft plot holders can use the Henley Cricket Club Pavilion toilets. The nearest toilets to Watermans are at Tesco, which is opposite the site.
Please go to the information page for external sites that can advise you on what to plant and when.
Allotment Association Committee
Although the allotments are owned by Henley Town Council, an Allotment Association Committee manages the sites on a day-to-day basis. The Committee consists of 10 plot holders (including the Site Managers), who are elected annually by the tenants at the Allotment Association AGM. The Committee meets every 6-8 weeks and discusses and resolves any issues and opportunities. The Committee also manages the relationship with the Council and represents tenants' views to the Council.
The Committee also organises and pays for site insurance.
The Committee also runs and manages a busy social calendar, and pays for the membership of 3 gardening associations: the RHS, Garden Organic and NSALG (National Society of Allotment Leisure Gardeners). Plot holders can use this to obtain free advice/entry to gardens. Please contact the Treasurer for more information.
Feedback from plot holders is encouraged, Please find time to feedback anything you feel strongly about.
Social events happen throughout the year and are a great way to meet people and get advice. Events are run with the intention of breaking even, although any profits made go into the Allotment Association funds, which are used for various site projects over the year. New tenants are always welcome at these events; please see the Latest News page
Cheap Seeds and Potatoes
NSALG membership provides plot holders with the opportunity to buy seeds and potatoes from Kings Seeds at reduced rates. Plot holders are invited to place their orders once a year, in October/November. Orders are co-ordinated by the Committee and one collective order is placed with Kings. Seeds and potatoes are then delivered to one address, and distributed/collected in January.
Prices are considerably cheaper than buying from garden centres, and the Allotment Association funds get a contribution from Kings for every pound spent. Please take advantage of this scheme, and save money on your crops!
The Allotment Association has two RHS cards, each of which entitles the holder plus one guest to 30% off the entry to RHS Gardens (Wisley, Rosemoor, Harlow Carr and Hyde Hall). The only exception is that Sunday entry to Wisley is excluded.
If you would like to make use of one or both of the cards, please contact Doug Richards on 01491 573046.