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Allotment FAQ

Where are North Road Allotments?

On North Road, Hertford, SG14 2BZ. Take the small turning off North Road between house numbers 120 and 122, opposite the cemetery just past St Joseph’s School.

Who can apply for an allotment at North Road?

Applications are normally only considered from residents of Hertford.

How do I apply for an allotment at North Road?

Apply Online, come along on Sunday mornings between 10 am-12 noon Feb-Oct, or phone/text the Lettings Secretary 07903 007945.

Who runs North Road Allotments?

North Road Plotholders Group (NRPG) run North Road Allotments on behalf of the owners, Hertford Town Council. NRPG was formed in 2000 and is a constituted gardening group made of volunteer plotholders. We receive a grant from Hertford Town Council to manage the allotments. See About us for a list of current committee members.

Is there a waiting List?

As at June 2024, there is a short waiting list for plots.  New applicants are typically likely to wait no more that 6 months but this does depend on existing members giving up their plots.  Please Apply Online to be added to it.

How much time does it take to tend an allotment?

Probably more than you might expect!  It depends, but in the growing season you’ll probably need to come down for an hour or two perhaps two or three times a week to water and harvest your crop and deal with the weeds and caterpillars. You’ll also need a few longer sessions for planting in Spring, for clearing and digging in Autumn and obviously for special projects like building sheds, paths and greenhouses. Starting a plot from scratch is often the most difficult part of running an allotment.

How much does it cost to rent a plot?

A typical 5 pole plot, about 10 m x 10 m, costs £27.50 a year (as at 2024), payable yearly on January 1st in advance. Larger plots cost proportionately more.

What is the difference between NRPG and North Road Allotments?

NRPG is the name of the group of plotholders who run North Road Allotments on behalf of Hertford Town Council.

What are the rules?

A full list of the rules and regulations is available on the Hertford Town Council website. These pertain mainly to size and type of buildings, bonfires, sale of crops, eviction and appeals procedures, animals and facilities. They’re not onerous and designed so that everyone can enjoy the town’s allotments.

What can I grow?

Anything legal – popular crops include potatoes, beans, cabbages, broccoli, courgettes, parsnips, squash, raspberries, strawberries, currants, rhubarb, pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes, peas and herbs.  More exotic recent crops include: celeriac, asparagus, kale, melons, grapes and chilli peppers. Many plotholders grow flowers such as dahlias, sunflowers, tulips, daffodils and sweet peas to attract pollinating insects and for cutting.  Dwarf fruit trees are allowed, but larger ones are not.

Can I have a greenhouse, shed, polytunnel or fruit cage?

Yes, but prior permission from NRPG is required. Complete the form (on our forms page) and return it to the Lettings Secretary, who will sign it and return it to you.   The maximum dimensions permitted for structures vary according to the size of the plot and the size and number of existing structures (see the Hertford Town Council website for full details), but as a rough guide sheds can be up to 6 ft x 4 ft, greenhouses up to 6 ft x 8 ft, and polytunnels up to 3 m x 2 m. If in doubt, please contact a committee member for advice before planning a construction project.

Can I take my car on site?

Yes, but please stick to the speed limit which is 5 mph. Traffic moving faster than this is dangerous and damages the track, which we have to maintain ourselves. In wet weather in the winter, parts of the track get muddy and slippery so please only bring your car if you have to. Please park so that you don’t block the track for other vehicles. There’s a grassy area to to the right of the shop for parking if necessary.  Overnight parking is not permitted.

What facilities do you have?

We have mains water troughs at several places on the site. We also have two communal tool sheds, on-site toilets, a communal rain shelter, a shop which sells many horticultural essentials, communal compost heaps, good quality lawnmowers, strimmers, rotavators and shredders, a picnic area and a good community vibe.  Any excess seedlings or plants can be put on the shelf to the left of the shop door for other plotholders to use. See the Facilities page for details.

How do I use the communal equipment?

For Health and Safety reasons, we ask that you undergo basic training on the use of the powered equipment. Once you’ve undergone this training, you can use the equipment yourself whenever the shop is open. The shop is open on Sundays 10.30 -12 noon Feb 1st – Oct 31st and can be opened at other times when a committee member is on site. A list of committee members is here, and they will be happy to open the shop, unless they are just about to leave.

I have a complaint about how the site is run – what do I do?

Please speak to the chairman in the first instance, (or email garyianjames@gmail.com) who will be happy to help. You can also contact Hertford Town Council, the site owners – contact details are on their website.

When is the shop open?

On Sundays between 10.30 -12 noon February 1st – October 31st. The shop can also be opened when a committee member is on site, unless they’re just about to leave.  Committee members are listed here.

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, but please keep it under control, on a lead and clean up any mess straight away, and take it home with you.

Can I keep chickens?

Yes, with permission, but you need to show you can look after them properly, which includes visiting them at least twice a day, ensuring predators cannot attack them and preventing vermin from being attracted.

Do I need my own tools?

No – we have a few basic tools available at any time in the communal tool shed, but you’ll probably want to acquire some yourself before long.

What happens if I can't look after my plot for a while?

You could ask family or friends to look after it for you. Alternatively, you could cover the plot with weed suppressing fabric (available in the shop) to keep the weeds down – please also let a committee member know.  Please note that you are responsible for ensuring your plot is maintained to an appropriate standard during any absence.

Do you have a policy on organic gardening?

Hertford Town Council actively encourages the use of organic methods of gardening.  From April 2025, Chemical pesticides or herbicides will no longer be permitted.  Details are contained in the Hertford Town Council rules for allotments.

Can my children come and help?

Yes, but keep them well-supervised. Allotments have many dangers, such as glass and sharp objects. Also, note that the site is an allotment, not a playground.  Ball games or child play equipment are not permitted.

Do you have any community events?

Yes – there’s an Annual General Meeting with a barbecue in September with a raffle and best-kept plot competition.

We also have an Annual Show in September where members can exhibit their produce and flowers, which is judged by a National Vegetable Society judge.

In October we have an Apple pressing day, when we collect, prepare and press all our surplus apples to produce juice to take away.

We have work days on the second Sunday of the month from February-October (10-12 noon) to do communal tasks such as grass-cutting, fence-repair, track repair, shredding, shed painting and other site improvement projects.  We usually finish these with tea, coffee and biscuits (and sometimes homemade cakes) in the Orchard. Please come along and help run the site, even a few hours a year helps enormously.

Do you have any smaller plots or easy-access plots?

Yes – thanks to a grant from Hertford Town Council and from East Herts District Council (EHDC), NRPG built an Easy Access plot at North Road Allotments in 2019. This is designed to enable those for whom mobility is an issue to still actively engage in horticulture and be part of the North Road Allotments community.  We have several large trugs, approximately 1-2 square meters in area, that can be accessed from all sides from a standing or sitting position. The Easy Access plot also has a fully accessible polytunnel. Car parking is adjacent and an easy access toilet is very close along a short and level path. Please get in touch if you would like more information.