After a not-so-promising start to the day, it cleared up in time for our Annual Bonfire Night party. As well as a huge bonfire and fireworks display Members enjoyed pumpkin soup, hotdogs and Jane’s delicious ginger parkin. There was also a leaf-lantern making workshop.
Thank you to everybody who built the bonfire, lit fireworks, tidied the Clubhouse and prepared food as well as those who donated fireworks.
Earlier in the day we also held our Autumn General Meeting. We discussed and adopted the new tenancy terms and conditions. These will be issued along with rent renewals in December. Rent day will be on Sunday 8th December.
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.
Thank you for the members who helped out at our first community spruce event – hedge planting and seed bombing the wildlife garden. Members made seed bombs that will help improve the diversity of wildflowers in the wildlife garden providing more forage for bees and insects and enhancing the biodiversity of the area.
The trees members planted will, in a few short years, provide a habitat and food for wildlife as well as foraging for plot holders. The new hedge is made of 50% buckthorn (sloe berries) as well as wild native fruit trees including crab apple, plum, cherry, pear and juneberry. It also includes various native roses such as dog rose, sweet briar rose and Rosa rugosa.
We would also like to say a huge thank you to the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from the 19th Bromley Scout Group who came along to help. They had a tour of the allotments, learnt about what we grow on site and planted the first trees in the new hedge. They also had fun throwing the seed bombs they’d brought with them into the wildlife garden.
Finally, thank you to the committee members who made lunch for the young people.
Our next Community Spruce event is Seedy Sunday on 24th March between 1-3pm. There will be a community seed swap, seed sowing demonstrations and advice as well as activity for children.