There are some 40 allotments located in the heart of Buxted village. Anyone living in the civil parish of Buxted is eligible to rent one.
The allotment site is set in a landscape of mixed trees and farmland. It is enclosed within a rabbit and deer-proof boundary fence. Plot sizes vary and may be adjusted to suit the ambitions of most allotment-holders. The soil is fertile and well drained, comprising mainly alluvial silt overlying sandstone.
The land is owned by Buxted Parish Council, but the day-to-day management of the site is the responsibility of the Buxted Allotment Association. The association was set up in May 2013 and offers allotment-holders more of a say in how the allotment site is run. For example, in 2015 we started a programme of improvements to an area which had previously been a plantation of poplars. We have created a community area with a rustic shelter where allotment-holders can exchange plants, crops, seed and gossip. We have established an orchard of heritage variety apple trees grown for us by the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale. We have planted a small area of hazel which will be traditionally coppiced to provide pea sticks and bean poles for allotment-holders in the future. We have also created a wildlife area including ponds and native trees and shrubs together with a mixed-species boundary hedge. This area will encourage pollinating insects and also natural predators to help allotment-holders manage their plots in a more environmentally sympathetic way. We have also created a composting facility for general use and this is already providing excellent compost for use by the allotment-holders on their plots.
There is currently a good mix of young families and old hands cultivating the allotments and they have a range of knowledge and experience. So, it is easy to exchange ideas and pick up growing tips.
The rental rate for the 2018 agreement year (which starts on 1st March) is unchanged from 2017 and is 30p per square metre (that translates into £12 annual rent for the smallest allotment up to nearly £68 for the largest). On top of that there is an annual membership fee of £3 for the Buxted Allotment Association (the main benefit of membership is discounted prices at some local garden centres) and £3 per named allotment-holder for membership of the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners (the benefits of this include sight of a quarterly magazine and discounted seed prices). On taking up an allotment, the Parish Council requires a deposit of £40 per allotment which is refundable on expiry of the agreement providing the allotment is left in good order.
Anyone interested in taking up an allotment should contact Rosemary de Bolla by e-mail (email@example.com). Over the last couple of years she has managed to meet every request for an allotment as it is rarely necessary to keep anyone on a waiting list for very long.
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