What’s new Archive

6 March, 2018

The Allotment Diary Project Needs You!

Sheffield University are looking for volunteers to complete an allotment diary – making a short record of their activities each time they visit their plot.

The information being recorded forms part of a project investigating the sustainability of allotment gardening. They are looking at the sorts of inputs people use, from fertilisers and pesticides, to the use of petrol tools. They are also identifying where recycling is taking place on allotment plots – for example when people reuse rainwater after collecting it in a water butt, or bring their kitchen food waste to compost on the plot.

If you are interested in taking part in this project, please email Miriam at to receive your free year-long allotment diary.

All participants will be able to keep their diaries after the project is complete – so you can look back in future years to see how the seasons compare! Please also email Miriam if you have any questions about the project.

5 March, 2018

This month’s This month has been posted.

3 March, 2018

A reminder that there is a get together at the allotment hut for all members on Sunday 11 March 2-4 p.m. All are welcome

As a special treat and to celebrate Spring we will be having a weed and tidy up around the hut.

Please join us for both if you can.

26 February, 2018

Looking after our soil

Soil on allotments is usually richer in organic matter and therefore more fertile than in surrounding land. This is due to the efforts of plotholders to improve the soil by adding to it compost and manure, often in considerable quantities.

But it is important not to negate these wholly beneficial practices  by inadvertently allowing the soil to become contaminated through other practices that are harmful to the organisms in the soil, to wildlife, to us and to our families.

Most of us are now aware of the need for the utmost restraint in using pesticides and herbicides like Metaldehyde slug pellets and Glyphosphate weed killer. Similar restraint is necessary in the use of chemical fertilisers like Growmore.

But worse than any of these are the poisonous residues deposited  in the soil through burning plastics of any kind, treated and painted wood, old floor coverings and miscellaneous other rubbish that is sometimes disposed of through incineration.

Please do not burn anything other than pernicious weeds, infected plants, woody cuttings and untreated wood in your incinerator. Plastics, treated or painted material and other inorganic rubbish should be kept on your plot until it can be safely disposed of in a skip is when one is next on site.

25 February, 2018

Lost your wheelbarrow?

A wheelbarrow has mysteriously turned up on some one’s plot and is presumed to have been left there by someone who ‘borrowed’ it from another plot. If you think it could be yours call Sophie on 07985651676 to see whether she might let you have it back.

14 February, 2018

Don’t miss this!

If you heard something buzzing gently overhead while labouring in the sticky clay of your plot last Sunday and happened to take a moment’s respite to look up, you might have seen a drone. If you did, it was probably being piloted by David Smith, a fellow plotholder and professional photographer, who was taking an aerial  view of Grange Lane Allotments and the surrounding area. David has kindly agreed to let us put it on the website. Do click on the link to see how lucky we are to share these surroundings in what must be one of the greenest parts of South London.

13 February, 2018

Plant Sale on Good Friday, 30 March

Advance notice that Emma Rowley’s very successful plant sale held on Good Friday last year is
being repeated this year.
The sale will be at the community hut and on offer will be:
  • Beetroot plants,
  • Broad beans,
  • Peas,
  • Four varieties of lettuce,
  • Calabrese and Kalibroc
Sadly no leeks this year, but Emma will take requests and put in a subsequent order if
enough members are interested.
Volunteers are needed to help run the sale and to make tea and coffee. If you would like to
volunteer please contact

10 February, 2018

 No one likes a slug – but don’t poison wildlife to get rid of them

get rid of slugs

Spring is one of the periods when slugs are most prolific in laying their eggs.  You can make a major reduction to the slug population on your plot by eliminating as many as you can now, before they start to breed, giving yourself a head start in your war against the ghastly gastropods.

Every slug you don’t destroy now  will produce up to 200 offspring through the year, then each of these offspring will produce offspring and then they will produce offspring and so on.

But don’t try to control slugs by spreading those little blue Metaldehyde pellets all over the place. They kill wildlife, poison the soil and contaminate ground water. It’s time they were banned. There are good and effective alternatives. In February the best advice is to:

  • rake over your plot to remove leaves and plant debris, exposing more slugs and their eggs to hungry predators.
  • look in pots, under stones and logs and anywhere else that looks like a slug hiding place then kill all the slugs you find.

3 February, 2018

A reminder that there is a get together at the allotment hut for all members between 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. on Sunday, 11 February

3 February, 2018

This month’s This month has been posted.

10 January, 2018

Rix Pyke’s commentary on what we can do to make Grange Lane more friendly to wildlife was very well received by members and she was encouraged to produce a quarterly updates on her ideas. Here’s the winter edition.

In case you missed it here’s the previous edition

6 January, 2018

This month’s This Month is now available.

6 January, 2018

A reminder that there is a get together at the allotment hut for all members between 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. on Sunday, 14 January.

Note that this and future meetings are on the second rather than the third Sunday of each month. A list of dates is available on the events page.

Members of the committee and line managers will be there on Sunday to meet plotholders

As well as enjoying the usual mugs of tea, coffee and good company there will be an opportunity to arrange help with tree pruning during February and March

If you can’t make the meeting Email or for more information.


19 December 2017

The dates of meetings at the hut in 2018 has just been posted on the Events page.

17 December, 2017

Today’s social event at the Hut turned out to be better attended than expected on a cold, wet afternoon.  Thanks especially to committee members Jill, Sarah and Peter for the hot drinks and a fire to help keep us warm.  Emma managed to buy some very nice mince pies and kindly warmed them for the members present.

Plotholders plotting at the last social event at the hut in 2017







12 December, 2017

This month’s This month has been posted.

11 December, 2017

There is a Christmas get together for all members at the allotment hut between 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. on Sunday, 17 December.

Mince pies and mulled wine are on offer.

Do try to come. All are welcome.

But if we don’t see you:

Happy Christmas!

21 November, 2017

Deadline for paying annual rent fast approaching.

Annual rents were due to be paid by 31 October. Most members paid on time but a sizeable number did not. Those who have not yet paid have until 30 November. After that they lose their right to renew and are liable to be evicted.

If you haven’t yet paid and you want to keep your plot please pay immediately; preferably by bank transfer, otherwise by cheque. Details are in the renewal notice sent to all members on 1st October.

When renewing please remember to:

  • ensure that your name and plot number are included with bank transfers and cheques.
  • complete the annual renewal form and return it by Email or post
  • pay fees for all members associated with your plot in addition to rents @ £3 per member

If the required information is not included with payments it is impossible to identify the payee and so these payments will be treated as donations.

Finally, if you don’t intend to renew please notify the membership secretary:

12 November, 2017

For some interesting ideas on slugs, hedgehogs, ditches and the like please take a look at Rix Pyke’s contribution in the members’ area.

11 November, 2017

This month’s This month has been posted. Following a request for access to previous editions of This Month they are now available under a section of the archive in the Member’s Area.

A reminder too that there is a get together for all members at the allotment hut between 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. on Sunday, 19 November.

Members of the committee and line managers will be there to meet plotholders

Tea and coffee will also be on offer but mugs are in short supply so please bring one with you.

10 October, 2017

This month’s This Month is now posted.

2 September, 2017

This year’s AGM will be on Sunday, 22 October at 11.00 in the Scout Hut at the top of Grange Lane.

Members who wish to pay their annual subscription in cash should arrive at 10.30 so that their payment can be taken in good time.

All members are encouraged to come along and take part.

1 September, 2017

This month’s ‘This month’ has just been published on the This Month page.

20 August, 2017


The West Norwood foodbank welcomes donations of vegetables and fruit.
If you have any surplus produce that you are willing to donate please leave it in the box at the hut and a member of the committee will arrange for it to be delivered to the foodbank.

19 August, 2017

Report from Inspection Team

The team has just completed the follow up inspection. Members will be contacted individually about  particular matters that have come to light. In the meantime members’ attention is drawn to the following general points:


  • Many are looking productive and in good order
  • People are using the hut table to redistribute surplus fruit, veg and plants and this is proving successful.
  • Those wishing to have people come and help themselves could leave a notice to that effect above the hut table.


  • LACK OF PLOT NUMBERS again. Please number top and bottom of plot.
  • TWO THIRDS of established plots must be cultivated with a variety of crops.
  • NETTING used to protect fruit and brassicas must not cover the whole plot.


  • We are committed to improving the paths. In the meantime please ensure the grass on your two paths is regularly cut/strimmed, and are passable with a wheelbarrow.


  • is prevalent and spreads quickly. Please burn or remove from site asap. Check on internet for symptoms, or ask knowledgeable neighbours.


  • must be dug out or poisoned with a systemic weedkiller.

9 August, 2017

What with it being holiday season n’all there will not be a gathering at the community hut in August.  The next one will be on Sunday 17 September 2.00 – 4.00 pm.

8 August, 2017

With apologies for it being late, this month’s This month has been posted.

14 July, 2017


Sunday, July 16 between 2 p.m. and 4p.m. is also the usual monthly coffee gathering at the Community Hut.

All welcome.

Cake contributions always give pleasure.

13 July, 2017


SUNDAY 16 JULY 2.00-4.00 PM At the Hut

Organic plug plants, for autumn/winter crops

Ready for planting in July and August . Make best use of your plot by planting these as you harvest your summer crops, and enjoy fresh greens through the Autumn and Winter months.

  • Kale – black and green curly varieties
  • Kalibroc – a hybrid cross between kale and broccoli
  • Calabrese
  • Leaf beet
  • Lettuces – two varieties
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Pak Choi and
  • Beetroot

All proceeds to the running of the hut and eco toilets

6 July, 2017

Know anyone who looking for an allotment in Camberwell? See Member’s Notices for information about a project that is offering plots.

5 July, 2017

This month’s ‘This month’ has just been published on the This Month page.

6 June, 2017

This month’s ‘This month’ has just been published on the This Month page.

5 June, 2017

Strimming accident

A recent  accident on the site highlights the importance of taking proper precautions when using strimmers.  On this occasion the twine of the strimmer became entangled with a length of  electrical wire hidden in long grass. The wire was spun round at high speed by the strimmer and tore through the operator’s rubber boot causing a very deep cut and partly embedding itself in his leg. He was very shocked and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital A&E. Fortunately he is recovering well.

To avoid this happening again please follow this advice:

  • Check the area to be strimmed before starting work and remove objects that could be dangerous, like wire, stones and glass.
  • Protect your lower legs with heavy duty trousers and boots.
  • Protect eyes and face with safety glasses or, preferably, a face shield.
  • Be aware of people close by and do not  endanger them.

4 June, 2017

Allotments Community BBQ Sunday June 18th,  1pm – 3pm

All Welcome!

Please join us at the Community Hut for a bring-and-share Sunday Lunch Barbecue on June 18th. Family and friends are welcome.

The barbecues will be up and running by 1pm.

Please bring food and drink for yourselves, plus a little extra to share.

There will be platters, bowls and serving spoons, so please bring salads to fill them. We will supply paper plates, bowls and cups, and disposable spoons and forks. There will be tea and coffee available, too.

Rugs and folding chairs would be helpful, if you can bring them along.

We also need more BBQs. If you have one you could bring, please email Jill or Jo. Our email addresses are (Jill) and (Jo).

We look forward to seeing you there!

9 May, 2017

Another photographer, Shelagh Roberts FRPS, has kindly allowed us to display some her pictures of fruit and vegetables in our gallery.

5 May, 2017

May’s This month has just been posted.

5 May, 2017

Plot Inspection

There will be an inspection of all plots in the second week in May.  Everyone was sent a copy of the Rules which include the requirements of the Dulwich Estate.  Plot holders must take steps to ensure that they comply with the Estate’s requirements and the Rules.  Some matters which need particular attention are:-

  • Plots must clearly display the plot number at the top and bottom of the plot,
  • Only limited structures such as modest sized boxes and coldframes are allowed by the Estate unless special permission is given,
  • Permitted structures must be at least one foot from the plot boundary,
  • Paths must not be cut into or obstructed by anything on a plot,
  • The grass paths surrounding the plot should be mown/ strimmed,
  • A range of plants should be grown on each plot
  • At least 2/3rds of the plot should be cultivated and weeds kept under control.

11 April, 2017

Don’t forget the plant sale on Good Friday 14 April!
It’s at the allotment hut from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
As well as the plants we’ve bought specially for the sale we would be grateful if members could
donate any excess or spare seedlings/plants of their own.
All proceeds will go towards development of the allotments and  its amenities.

3 April, 2017

April’s This month has just been posted.

3 April, 2017

Dulwich Estates have informed us that repairs to the sections of Grange Lane affected by water leaks will be undertaken by contractors between 4 – 6 April.

The works will involve kerbs and gullies being re-set on 4th and 5th April. Road re-surfacing will follow on 6 April when single carriageway width restrictions will apply and Stop/Go boards will be operated for the duration of the works.

Members are asked not to park in cordoned off areas and if possible to avoid seeking access on 6th April

2 April, 2017

An open fire lit next to wooden structures and trees got out of control yesterday and burned to ashes an extent of surrounding vegetation. Fortunately the plotholder was able to dowse the fire with water before it took hold of structures but he was aware that he had been lucky and that the damage could have been much worse.

Open fires are strictly forbidden. In dry conditions they can spread with frightening speed and endanger the safety and property of other members.

Please remember that fires may be lit only in metal incinerators.

22 March, 2017

A calendar of events at Grange Lane Allotments for the year ahead has been posted on the events page. More details will be added to the calendar as they become available.

21 March, 2017

There will be a plant sale at the allotments hut on Friday 14 April, 10 a.m -12 p.m .

Please come and buy some plug plants – lettuces, chard, beetroot, leeks, peas and broad beans. They’re all at cost price, from as little as 60p for 5 plug plants, and ready to plant in your plot.

All are organically grown, sourced from a nursery called Delfland in Norfolk.

If there is enough interest, orders will be taken and collated for another bulk order for delivery in May 2017.

Please bring any spare seedlings or other plants you have for donation – and we will sell them on at low cost to others.

All proceeds will go towards the costs of further developing the hut as a facility for all plot holders and the community.

Any questions please email

5 March, 2017

Apologies to members who have been anxiously awaiting the publication of this month’s This Month before they could get on with any work on their plots. It has now been posted and the way ahead is clear.

17 February, 2017

Do you buy books online? Not just gardening books, any sort of books? Do you buy DVDs, CDs, stationary, computer games, gifts, etc? The chances are that you do and now you can contribute to raising funds for Grange Lane Allotments when you buy any of these items, just by using this link.

The link will take you to Blackwell’s, one of the foremost booksellers in Britain which has prices very similar to Amazon and free delivery over £10. When you buy anything from Blackwell’s using this link 6% of the value of your purchases will be automatically credited to the Grange Lane allotments account.

That’s it! That’s all you have to do. It costs you nothing but it contributes to our funds which are of course used for the benefit of the allotments and its members.

And you don’t have to keep going through the Grange lane website every time for us to get the commission. All you have to do is:

  1. Click on the link above or here.
  2. This will take you through to Blackwell’s.
  3. Check that the URL of the Blackwell’s page you’re on contains the words: Grange Lane
  4. Bookmark this page.
  5. That’s it! Every time you click on this Blackwell’s bookmark and buy anything they will automatically pay 6% commission to Grange Lane.

If this works we hope to to negotiate similar commission arrangements with other suppliers. In the meantime, please do think about using Blackwell’s and don’t forget to bookmark the link otherwise they won’t know that you’re buying through us and we won’t get the 6% commission.

12 February, 2017

A group of plotholders met at the new allotment hut on Sunday 5th February to discuss next
steps in making the hut a useful resource for members.

Good progress has already been made: a very durable rubber covering has been laid on the floor; a number of chairs have been obtained and a donated bench for the verandah has been installed.

As ever though, there is more to be done and we want to involve as many members as possible so that there’s a shared sense of ownership.

Please come along to the next meeting at 11.00am on Sunday, 19 February to talk about
setting up a small working group to develop use of the hut, to organise things like rotas and to
investigate how we get a power and water supply.

We also want you to bring your own ideas about what we should do next. One that has already attracted a lot of support is to bulk buy plug plant to sell on to members at prices much lower than at garden centres.

Finally, we need 4 or more water butts to collect rainwater from the hut roof for planters around the hut. If you have any in good condition please bring them on the 19th.

1 February, 2017

It’s February! Another month has gone by and so there is another exciting edition of This month available for you to read. And if you want to know more about pruning month by month have a look at the very good website for advice

6 January, 2017

Click on the video to see how the community building was put up.  In fact it’s not a video, it’s time lapse photography. There’s a prize for anyone who can spot Charlie Chaplin.

5 January, 2017

The community building announced at the AGM and previewed on this website before Christmas is now in place. A team from the suppliers arrived early on Wednesday morning and set to work assembling the prefabricated sections. Jill, Sarah and Peter, the committee members who have been leading on this project, were there to help them. Everything went much to plan and the building was erected in good time.

Jill, Sarah and Peter deserve thanks from all of us for the work they have done to raise funds for the building, make all the plans and preparations for its installation and then to ensure it was put up on schedule.

Of course, there is more still to do: painting, furnishing, planning activities and a host of other things. Please contact if you are able to help.

1 January, 2017

Best wishes to all members for a Happy New Year!

The not very exciting tasks and tips for January are now available on the This Month page

11 December, 2016

Line manager details have been updated.

To see a plan of Grange lane Allotments with the location of plots and water tanks please click here.

10 December, 2016

Make it a New Year’s resolutions to help with our new Community Hut!

The construction of the hut in the workshop is complete and it will be erected at Grange Lane on 4 January. Members are invited to come along to help and to bring provisions like hot tea and coffee for yourself and others on site.

Soon after the hut has been put up we shall need volunteers to help with painting, furnishing and organising activities for its use.


If you are able to help please email

4 December, 2016

Tasks and tips for December have now been posted on the This Month page.

3 December, 2016

The minutes of the AGM held at the end of October are now available here.

18 November, 2016

Sylvie Goy, a professional photographer has allowed us to exhibit a collection of  fascinating night time pictures that she took of Grange lane allotments.


Click here to see the full collection.

4 November, 2016

A highpoint of the AGM held on 30 October was a presentation by Peter Allen on site developments. This included updates on the eco loos, the community building and the new bins for stable manure and bark chips. The presentation also encouraged members to volunteer for a number of working parties that will be needed over the next few months.

3 November, 2016

Tasks and tips for November have now been posted on the This Month page.

31 October, 2016

The cheque form the Big Lottery fund for our new community buildingThe Big Lottery Fund tries to live up to its name and sends out big cheques for the grants it awards. Here’s the one they sent us for the new community building being held up by a cheery group of allotmenteers still brimming with happiness after a successful AGM. The only dissent came for the dog who, apparently, is camera shy.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

19 October, 2016

Broad beans, garlic, onion and shallot sets are now available from the allotment shop in Gunsite. Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sundays

18 October, 2016

Look here to see and (if you can afford it!) to buy a photo of Grange Lane Allotments in the 1980s. But don’t be tempted to copy it without buying! Getty Images embed code in their photos; they will know what you have done and will send you an invoice.

10 October, 2016

Members will be pleased hear that we have been awarded two grants that will pay for major improvements at Grange Lane Allotments.


Many members have rightly said it is unacceptable that there are no toilets on our site. Thanks to an award of £4500 from Southwark’s Cleaner, Safer, Greener scheme we are now able to remedy this situation.

The award will cover the cost of installing two Eco-toilets. Both will be in appropriately secluded positions that have been approved as technically suitable by the provider who has visited the site. One will be located near the car park at the top, the other will be near the lower gate in a space being cleared.

The toilets are the dry composting type and do not require water. They have a solar powered fan and are said to be smell free. Use of them differs slightly from ordinary toilets and members will need to acquaint themselves with the correct procedure!

More information is available on:

Community Building

Awards for All, part of the Big Lottery Fund, has awarded us £9,931 most of which will be used for the erection of a community building. This award is very near the maximum amount of £10,000 available from this fund.

The building will be erected on the ground where the stable manure and chippings are now. It is a timber structure measuring 20ft x 12ft ft with a 6ft covered veranda. The total size including the veranda is 20ft x 18ft. It is important that the building is secure and it comes with strong locks, reinforced double doors and toughened glass windows.

The top Eco-toilet will be located on the wooded side of the new community building.

Bins for manure and chippings

We are looking into the construction of a large bin on the ground where the logs were, for manure, chippings and logs. As well as keeping the manure chippings and logs contained and tidier, the bins will create a barrier for the ditch that runs along the top of the site. This is a requirement of our lease with the Dulwich Estate. The ditch has to be kept clear and free running so that it carries away water from the woods that would otherwise run down and increase the water logging that is already a problem for parts of our site.


We expect the Eco-toilets to be installed by the end of October, the bin construction early November and the community building early in the 2017.

Transitional arrangements

The ground on which the manure and chippings are currently kept has to be cleared so that the foundations for the community building can be laid. Therefore new deliveries of  chippings and manure heaps have been relocated to the other side of the gate.

Help by members

Help will be needed to achieve the timetable and members are asked to contribute by:

  • Taking chippings and manure only from the original heaps until these have been completely cleared.
  • volunteering for specific tasks: please for speak to your line manager or contact
  • joining a working party that may be needed to help move the remaining manure/chippings heap to allow the hut foundation to be put in place. Another will be needed to prepare the hut for use after it has been installed. ie painting, fitting out etc

28 September, 2016

The Annual General Meeting of the plot holders of Grange Lane Allotments will be held from 10.00am to 11.30am on Sunday 30th October 2016
in the Ismay Room at the Scout Hut, Grange Lane, London SE21 7LH.

Plot renewal forms will be issued in early October. Rent/fee payments can be made from 9.30am to 10am at the Ismay Room, the Scout Hut before the Annual General Meeting.

If you do not receive your renewal forms (mostly by email) by the 21st October, tell us immediately after then by email or in a note left in the upper gate postbox or the brick shed.

24 September, 2016

Our neighbours at Gunsite Allotments  have problems with drainage and they commissioned water engineers to survey their site and make recommendations. Much of their advice is applicable to Grange lane and has been adapted to our site here. If you want to read the full report on Gunsite itself click here.

21 August, 2016

The plot inspection on 10 August gave rise to concerns that are being taken up with individual members. The inspection also revealed a number of concerns common to many plots. We are bringing these to the attention of all members with a request that those at fault take corrective action right away.


The maximum height allowed for any tree or bush is 2.5m. All branches overhanging paths should be pruned when the plant is dormant, except for plum and bay trees which should only be pruned in early to mid summer.
Bushy willows should be cut to the ground and then either dug out or poisoned. All sapling oaks, ashes and other self seeded trees must  be removed immediately


Blackberries are very prolific and their growth must be controlled. After fruiting all fruited canes should be cut to ground and new canes cut to  2-3 ft.


This must be eradicated by cutting back and then either dug out or poisoned.


Paths must be kept strimmed and reinstated to their original width where this has been reduced by planting or structures

Neglected plots

Members who are no longer able to tend their plot are asked to give it up voluntarily rather than wait for an enforcement notice. An alternative is to consider downsizing to a half plot.
Either way please contact the letting manager to discuss options.

3 June, 2016

Lost keys.

A set of keys was found at the top gate on Saturday, 28 May. The owner can contact Nigel on 02087692766 to arrange their return.

30 May, 2016

Plot inspections were conducted during May and a number of plots were identified as not complying with the rules and regulations. Members are being contacted individually about what they should do to put matters right. A report on the inspections, results and further advice will be published when available.