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Binswood Allotment Society

Binswood Allotment Society

Minutes of the 94rd Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 29th  March 2015, 11.00am, Community Hut, Binswood Allotment


M.Atkins, R. Beal, D.Bradley, M.Bradley, K.Brandon, J.Bennet, R.Burtonshaw, A,Cathcart, R.Cathcart, S.Cawthorne, K.Dehnhn-Shutz, D.Elliot, D.Foster, P.Griffin, M.Hurst, J.Ingram, R.King, D.Lawrence, K.Lawrence, C.Levack, R.Mosely, D.Peacock, R.Peacock, L.Phillips, C.Seton, T.Stephens, J.Stone, A.Strange, H.Tudge, M.van Rooyen


1 Welcome

2 Apologies

3 Minutes of 2014 meeting

4 Matters Arising

5 Chairman’s Report

6 Treasurer’s Report

7 Membership Secretary’s Report

8 Committee

9 Communication with Members

10 Site Development and Maintenance

11 Old Milverton Show

12 Presentations

13 AOB

14 Close of meeting

1 Welcome

Robin Cathcart welcomed everyone to the Community Hut. A good turn-out despite the rain.

2 Apologies

M.Astell, P.Burtonshaw, P.Bywaters, C.Bywaters, J.Carrier, J.Dean, S.Hallett, B.Landsborough I.Paxton, N.Wright

3 Minutes of 2014 AGM meeting

  1.      No comments about 2014Acceptance of the minutes was proposed by P.Griffin and seconded by R.Beal.

4 Matters Arising

  1.      No matters arising from 2014 minutes.


5 Chairman’s Report – Robin Cathcart

5.1 Growing season

  1.      A synopsis of the previous growing season – It was a good growing season this year with a cold, slow start. Most people did well.

5.2 Activities for 2014/2015

  1. Land cleared by Borrowdale Drive Entrance.
    1.     The Butterfly Sanctuary created.
    2.     Three new water tanks installed.
    3.     Hedgerow planted.
    4.     Fencing.
    5.     400 trees planted.
    6.      Community Hut floor finished.
    7.     Community Hut area improved with raised planters and brick area clearance.
    8.      Asbestos removed from site.
    9.      Scrap metal removed from site.

5.3 Grants

  1. North Leamington Community Forum grant of £1,470 towards the Butterfly area. As a condition of the grant the society added an additional £400 to the amount. Many thanks to the North Leamington Community Forum for this grant.
  2.  Leamington Town Council grants were used last year to enable landscaping around the site, water system improvements, asbestos removal and to provide fencing at the Borrowdale Drive entrance.
  3.  Leamington Town Council grants for this year total £1,600 and have been earmarked for:

1) A new smaller, more manageable rotavator. P.Griffin remarked that the ground must be cultivated before its use. The old rotavator has been sold.

2) Two pub style picnic tables.

3) Two more water tanks. These will be situated at the back between the path by the Community Hut and Martin Hurst’s plot.

4) New guttering for the Community Hut.

  1. Woodland Trust Grant for native whip trees with canes and treeguards. These have been planted around the  site.
  2.  We do well receiving grants because we work hard to apply for them.

5.4 Community Hut

  1. The Community Hut continues to bring people together with themed meetings on the 1st Sunday of the month along with tea and cakes. Thanks to the group who look after the rota: Bonny, Liz, Megan, Catherine, Karen, Kristen etFollowing on from the group meeting in the Star and Garter, the organisational group has grown with more volunteers. Please spread the word and look out for the future programme.
  2.  Liz Phillips thanked Bonny who has done so much over the past two years and also the people who turned up at the meeting in the Star and Garter. Programme for the next few months is as follows: 
    1.      12th April- Plant and seed swap
    2.      2nd May- Scarecrow Competition
    3.      20th June- BBQ in the afternoon (to be confirmed)
    4.      11th July- Scones and tea 3.00pm
    5.       2nd August- Old Milverton Show entry guidance.

Note: Some of these dates are Saturdays, rather than the usual Sundays, to allow more people to attend.

  1.  The Hut is almost complete with thanks to the efforts to a huge number of volunteers.

5.5 Thanks

  1. Thanks to Rosemary and David Beal along with others for the tremendous effort in the creation of the Butterfly Sanctuary. An area of wasteland has been transformed into a fantastic asset to the site. Please go and see it.
  2. Thanks to all the volunteers who do so much work on the allotments, particularly Pete, Morris, David James, Ioan, Dave Elliot, Bill Strain and everyone else.
  3. The community hut volunteers for today’s tea and cake.
  4.  Estelle Seymour for the seeds. Estelle earns us £284 profit from the seeds from thePlease get your seeds from the society to improve this benefit. There are more seeds in the packet too.
  5. Dave Elliot for the website.
  6. Pete Griffin for the farmyard manure.

6 Treasurer’s Report – Martin Hurst

6.1 The Treasurer presented the Treasurer’s report which was accepted by the members

7 Membership Secretary’s Report – Tristan Stephens

  1.  2014 was a good year with 24 plots rented out to new members, thanks to Pete Griffin taking over on-the-ground rentals.
  2. Currently the site is full with one person on the waiting list.
  3.  If anyone is going to leave the society, please let us know so we can pass on the plot.

8 Committee

  1.  We have a supportive committee, thanks for that.
  2. The present committee have all agreed to continue to sit.
  3. The committee needs to increase by one female member. PG proposed Kristen Lawrence and she agreed.
  4.  Robin would like to step down as Chairman this year so we need to find a new person for the position.

9 Communication with Members – Megan van Rooyen

  1.  Members are kept informed through a variety of communication pathways. These include:
  • 1 direct email

2. a Facebook page run by Catherine and Martin that posts about upcoming events

3. a website overseen by Dave Elliot that provides information on rent, byelaws, news, AGM minutes and action points from committee meetings

4. a newsletter written by Catherine that is distributed once a year

5. Notice boards at both main entrances and at the Community Hut.

  1. The committee considered a suggestion from last year’s AGM to set up a Yahoo group as another mode of communication, but felt that it was not a necessary option in their view.
  2. Question. Could we have new notice boards?
  3. Question. Can we have larger text for the notices on the board?
    1. Question. Can we have Guy’s Cliffe shop details posted on the boards?  We have an agreement to be able to use the allotment shop at the Guy’s Cliffe site.

10 Site Development and Maintenance

10.1 Butterfly Sanctuary

  1.   Rosemary Beal talks of the creation of the butterfly sanctuary.
  2.  There are photographs in the community hut showing the development of the area from early 2000 onwards.
  3.   A lot of rubbish has been removed, 8 bins and 2 skips full.
  4.   After last year’s AGM, work began on site clearance with bonfire and shrub clearance.
  5.  The grant from the Community Forum was awarded in September. In autumn digger work began and the pond was created. Raised beds were planted with species suitable for butterflies.
  6. Hedging was planted.
  7.  Bark was removed from the area.
  8. Heras fencing was replaced.
  9.  Prairie type planting will be planted where there is still concrete under the surface soil.
  10.   Sand and gravel was spread over membrane and is soon to be seeded with flowers and grasses suitable for butterfly larval stages.
  11.  Pond planting was very muddy.
  12.  Logs provide insect and fungi habitats.
  13. Site signage will soon be erected.
  14.  Volunteers are needed to do some weeding once a fortnight.
  15. Thanks to everyone for their help and support in this project.
  16.  An opening day will be announced for maybe July when something is growing.

10.2 Recycling bunkers

  1.  Bunkers were installed using Council Grant money to allow members to dispose of material.
  2.  After last year’s strong feeling about asbestos, the last bunker has been designated for woodchip.
  3.  Despite ‘no dumping’ signs on the bunker, there has been a lot of dumping in this area. Please don’t dump there and tell others not to do so if you see them.

10.3 Maintenance

  1.   All the projects this year relied heavily on a group of volunteers – Pete, Morris, David James, Dave Elliot and others.
  2.   We have had a good response to some work groups but we don’t always get volunteers. Could everyone tell plot neighbours to join in and increase the number of people who help on the voluntary projects?
  3.  Anyone who wants something to do, ask Pete!

11 Old Milverton Show

  1.  Martin Hurst speaks about the Old Milverton show.
  2.  The show is struggling to increase support.
  3.  The Old Milverton show is on Saturday 5th September this year, beginning at 2.00pm. Entry is £2.for adults and £1.00 per child. There will be a talk later in the year on how to present produce for the show.
  4.  It is a quintessential English fete and has fruit, veg, photos, paintings, flowers, face painting, crafts, bouncy castle, bat the rat, hook-a-duck, beer tent, stilt walkers, falconry displays and a barn dance in the evening.

12 Presentations

  1.  John ShuttleworthLast year’s competition, to grow the heaviest Summer cabbage, was won by Martin Hurst.
  2.  This year’s competition is for the largest pumpkin. This will be judged by measuring the diameter at the widest point between the stalk and tip. The judging date will be announced later in the year to coincide with the pumpkin growing dates.


13 AOB

  1.  Liz said there was £48.54 in the community hut fund from contributions towards the tea.
  2.  Hut will be open on 10.15 April 26th when the work group is mending the road. The potholes in the shared roadway from Northumberland Road will be fixed with tarmac from the Milverton allotment site.
  3.  Skip at the Borrowdale entrance was filled up very quickly so another skip will be ordered soon for members. This is likely to be at the weekend so people who work will have a chance to get rid of rubbish.
  4.  Helen on the corner has 7 plastic baths if anyone wants one.
  5. Topsoil deliveries – no merchants will deliver up the main drive. Bartlets may have small lorries that could get up the drive.


14 Close of meeting

  1.   Meeting closed at 12.00.

Tristan Stephens

Binswood Allotment Society Secretary