2020 AGM Chair’s report

Gunsite Report in brief, Armorel Weston, Chair Person

These are the main points:

1 COVID: We have been informative to our members of the Gunsite Allotment concerning Health & Safety since the beginning of Lockdown, last March, when the Pandemic official information was announced, which have caused so many changes in our lives. The Committee has, I think, done wonders putting into place safety guidance with emails, notices, and more practical methods like buckets of disinfectant in areas such as the entrance to our site. Unfortunately, it is hard to monitor how well the commercial trucks (that come through with green waste) take notice of it; there has been the usual traffic. We have recently put out an update of the NAS Policy (National Allotment Society) COVID guidelines.

2 These heavy vehicles are a problem as the road on our site gets over used, leaving pot holes which are a constant problem. Dulwich Estate in the past has helped fill these holes and we have bought this to their attention at the CDAS Meeting last month.

3 We have had a lot of problems with the entrance gate – as the Lock has been broken and fixed a few times. It has been a summer/autumn saga!

4 Robert Holden, who a lot of you know, has been very good keeping us well stocked with manure and leaf mulch from the Green Team. It is noticed that a few people who are regulars to their plots are removing more than their fair share; this is unacceptable. A notice has gone out and we hope that this will regulate the problem, leaving fairer distribution.

5 Philip Milner & William Marshall have been heroes, safely organising the shop opening Sunday mornings for Collection, through the Website run by Gavin Hamilton. Payment via Paypal has been efficiently organised by Rosemary Danielien. Their ordering of new stock has helped to keep us Gunsite Gardeners supplied with potatoes, onions and all our other needs.

6 The Site Officers: Liz Brunton keeps on eye on people leaving or applying for plots; now the books are closed at 250 on our waiting list. Jane Taylor has been in touch with the Dulwich Estate over tree problems.

7 All site officers have kept a good eye open on their sections of the Gunsite, for which, many thanks.As you know, it was decided by the Committee to cancel the Inspection this June, partly because of COVID regulations. We observed that gardeners were finding great relief in tending their plots this year; what with the good weather, it was felt the plots were in excellent order, except for a few who informed us of their circumstances, unable to get up to Gunsite. Some found alternative help and informed their Site Officer.

8  Ann Revell has done a great job going through Mailchimp, keeping information going out to you all of Notifications, all the things to do with the running of The Gunsite Allotment; this is most appreciated. Also thanks to Gavin Hamilton for transferring information, particularly concerning the Shop, to our Website and for his ongoing effort to make it more accessible.

9  This year’s financial affairs have been marvellously dealt with by our Treasurer, Kathy Heeps, and recently passed at our committee Zoom meeting, on October 4th. (There are four of these committee meetings a year.)

10  This is my notice of my resignation. As Chairperson, I have held this position for 3 years; I have also been on the Committee for 17 years and am leaving this, too. I have very much enjoyed the solidarity of working with such a great and supportive team of committee members but, sadly, owing to circumstances beyond my control, major works on my Estate start in the New Year. There have already been a 3 year build up and a fight with the Council but I will have a lot more on my hands over the next few years. There are times I will have to leave London for respites, so I feel I cannot any longer devote time to the responsibility of being Chair.

11  The committee has kept discussion and decision making alive during these strange times. It has become increasingly clear that a committee of 20 is too large to be efficient; during this year, it has reduced to 18 by two resignations, Nigel Thorpe and Helen Adkins. I thank both of them for all the effort they have put in. Helen will continue as an inspector. However, at the very time we are looking to reduce the committee, it is also time for new blood to take its place on the Committee, a conundrum but one I am sure can be resolved. I hope we will have new volunteers to undertake what is a very worthwhile position.*

12 Again, I thank you for all your support.

Armorel Weston

* If you are interested in being on the committee, for details please contact the Secretary, Maggie Jarman, before January 10th 2021, via the email dedicated to the AGM: gunsiteagm@gmail.com