We will be opening our gates on Sunday 22 May between 11-3pm for our Open Day. You will be able to tour the allotments, visit the Wildlife Garden or sit in the Secret Garden. There will also be stalls, children’s activities, honey bee demonstration, pond dipping, as well as tea, cakes and a BBQ.
There will also be our ever popular Plant sale so you can grow your own at home.
We look forward to welcoming you back to our allotments.
Our favourite event of the year is our Open Day when we welcome the local community to join us for a day of food, music and entertainment as well as an opportunity to enjoy our allotment site. Our Open day on Sunday 19th May was no exception.
We would like to say huge ‘Thank You’ to everybody who made the day so special, either by visiting, preparing the site in advance, helping with a stall, cooking or serving food, performing or helping to pack away at the end.
Below are a selection of pictures showing some of the highlights of the day.
The Wildlife Garden
This is our new bug hotel which we are building with the community. We invited visitors to the wildlife garden to fill the stacked pallets with material to provide nooks and crannies for bugs to live. We will put a roof on it to make sure it provides a waterproof home for a wide range of bugs.
People enjoyed watching the pond as well as pond dipping. The pond is teaming with life – we found several newts (including the one shown below), a dragonfly larvae (below), tiny red bloodworms, two types of snails, caddisfly larvae and a host of other invetebrates.
Our plant stall was back selling vegetable and flowers plants as well as rhubarb. We also had a bee demonstration stall that sold products from beekeeping as well as bee jewellery. The Soap and Dandelion coffee making stalls was also very popular.
We’d like to say a special thank you to Beckenham Choir (above) and Churchfields Choir (below) who performed at the Open Day.
We had a range of activities for our younger visitors including bubbles to chase, a magic show, cake decorating, hook a duck, bouncy castle, no tears tombola, the Woodcraft Folk did craft activities, as well as pond dipping and helping with the bug hotel.
Clubhouse Cafe & BBQ
As well as enjoying the homemade cakes there was an exhibition by the Beckenham Photographic Society that included photographs taken on site, such as the amazing sequence showing a dragonfly emerging. Here’s photographs Carol Dowd exhibited.
We also had two BBQs on the go for the day with our fabulous chefs cooking hundreds of burgers and sausages.
Thank you to everybody who contributed to the day – it was a real team effort and a lovely community day.
Our 7.5 acre allotment site is already a haven for wildlife. We have insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals living on our site. Habitats include native hedgerows, a wildlife garden and pond as well as the river and the riverbanks. And we have created a hundred different habitats for them on our plots. We also have a lot of grass. We have grass paths, we have grass around buildings, along hedgerows and we have grass on our plots. Mostly we cut it so that it is neat and tidy.
These neatly mowed grassy areas could be little mini meadows. I’m not suggesting we give up cutting the main paths and lawns, but by mowing a bit less this spring and summer we could give clover, buttercups, dandelions and more a chance to flower for pollinators like bees, butterflies, hoverflies and moths. This will bring more pollinators to our plots and may increase our harvests. And we can enjoy seeing which flowers emerge to add some natural joy and colour to our site!
So, over the next few months as we work out which areas are best to leave to grow wild you will see signs like this popping up around the site. If you can think of any potential Mini Nature Reserves, let the committee know.