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Gunsite survey – the results are in!

The Gunsite Development Working Group recently sent out a survey to plotholders. We are very grateful to everybody (58 in all ) who responded. This has been a very worthwhile exercise, and produced not just a very big response but also some very interesting comments and ideas. We attach a summary of these for you all to read and consider. 

The Gunsite committee will be meeting on February 23 to discuss the responses. 

Nigel Thorpe, Philip Milner, William Marshall, Alex Hamilton, Chris Thomson, Lucy Lloyd-Davies

Question 1: How long have you had your plot? 

Up to 1 Year: 2

1-5 Years: 15

More than 5 Years: 41

Questions 2: Age Group

35-55: 11

55+: 46

Question 3: Communications used

Email: 49

Word of Mouth: 7

Note: many people use word of mouth as well as email but I have recorded those who make no use of email. 

Question 4: Would you like to be more involved? 

Working Parties: 11

Shop: 1

Other: 7

Many respondents are already involved or said they did not have time. 

Question 5: Should the shop open on Saturday afternoons?

Yes: 36

No: 21

Question 6: More help and advice?

Yes: 21

No: 32

Question 7: A greener site? 

A great deal: 30

A lot: 11

Moderate: 13

A little: 1 

Not at all: 3

Question 8: Is there one change/development you would like to see at the Gunsite?

Question 9: Any other thoughts or proposals? 

Questions 8 and 9 produced the following responses:

1. Boundary Trees

Approach Dulwich Estate to lop trees on edge of site which overhang plots.
Proper arrangement for cutting back trees on boundary.
Plant hedges on boundary. 

2. Gate Lock

Easier, more user-friendly lock on the gate.
New lock but not a padlock.
Electronic lock.
Easier system for entry/exit.
Better locking system not using a key.
Doubtful if locking gate worth the hassle.

3. Greener site

Ban/discourage slug pellets.
Greater emphasis on soil health and biodiversity through organic gardening. 
Making site pesticide free and a communal wildlife area with pond.
Ban pesticides and herbicides, especially stop people spraying the drains to clear grass.
More environmentally friendly site but evidence based.

4. The Gunsite Community 

More understanding for younger plot holders with families who have less time to keep their plots in order.
Less rude and officious treatment by Site reps. 
Less stringent inspection system as some people are away before inspection and cannot bring plot up to scratch.
Plot holders being friendlier and more helpful to each other.
Site to go back to being more friendly.
Only time plot holders are contacted is when being criticised for state of plots and drains etc.
A lot lost in relentless drive for perfect plots.
Social get togethers.
Outreach to local community, wild flowers to be grown and seeds collected and shared with local community (Charlotte Hollinshead willing to research this).
Establish links with local schools/special schools etc, give them a plot for educational/wellbeing/horticultural activities.
Site could be more diverse.
Open days.

5. Size of plots

More equitable distribution of land. Too many very big plots/holders of more than one plot. If everyone was reduced to 5 rods it would free up 64 rods, the equivalent of 2.5 rods for 25 people on waiting list. 

6. Toilet Facility

Toilets would be great. 
Composted toilet.
Toilet (difficult for a woman without).
Toilet linked to main drainage via the Scouts. 

7. Site Management

Improvements to the management structure. 
Need to be clear about what Committee can decide and what has to go to AGM. 
A Development plan.
More representative committees.
More plot holders involved.

8. Manure

More frequent deliveries of manure.
More woodchip.
Supply to buy manure/compost not in plastic bags. 

9. Help and Advice

Educational programme.
Monthly ideas on what to do when.
List of people willing to offer assistance on different aspects of gardening. 
Monthly gardener’s question time.
Email on what needs to be done each month. 
Talks on ‘how to’ subjects.

10. Water

More water taps.
Team to help water while holders are on holiday.
Plan for drought and hose pipe bans, investigate pond creation. 
Advice on how to store rainwater.
Local water supply.

11. Bonfires

No bonfires and mechanical noise on Sundays.
Query of whether bonfires are at all necessary.

12. Communications 

Better website functionality. Opportunity to post to a gallery or have a moderated topic forum.
Committee minutes on website.
Resite notice board to make an info point.
Better communications.
Updated plot holder map, online.

13. Deposits

Increase initial deposit so money can be used to have poorly left plot in order. 

14. Common areas and site maintenance

Improvement of car parking areas perhaps with shade trees.
More planting in common areas, shade trees round the car parks.
Tidy up road/potholes, entrances, northern end of site, plant winter flowering trees. 
Communal walk-in polytunnel.
Communal composting on a large scale.
Communal greenhouse.
Apply to Southwark CGS scheme for money for fencing. 
Put pressure on Dulwich Estate to maintain the entry road.
Footpaths to be improved.
Shelter of some sort.
Give up on trenches which will flood plots near golf course.
Get electricity supply connected.
Can we have a bicycle rack to lock bikes to?