“It’s perfectly acceptable to go to an allotment. It’s in the very nature of allotments that there is a safe distance between people who are working on an individual allotment”
Micheal Gove, March 2020
Without a doubt allotment interest and community spirit has surged for the first time since the country was at war – which means they’re still playing a vital part in our communities.
Of course – they’re also doing their bit with regards to food supplies too.
Since posting about visiting plots during a pandemic last year, visiting an allotment is still classed as outdoor exercise – and we can still visit them.
There’s lots of documentation about keeping safe on the plot – and a Google search will most certainly send you down a rabbit hole.
I’ve picked out some of the most prevalent, recurring actions to take when visiting the plot.
- It’s not possible to mix with other households outdoors, so this means, visits to allotments are for “allotment business” and not socialising.
- With the above in mind, it’s not advisable for other households to mix on the one plot.
- Social distancing of two meters (as before) needs to be observed.
- Particularly keep distance with those who are most vulnerable (the elderly for instance).
- Do not share tools.
- Do not wash your hands in water troughs.
- Taking hygiene precautions must be adhered to when touching communal surfaces – i.e. sanitising after using taps, gates, fences…etc.
- If you’ve been tested, or have sadly tested positive it’s certainly not advisable to visit the plot (or anywhere) until a negative test.
- For garden supplies, it’s advised, if you can to order online.
- James Sean Cameron has done a nice summary of how best to approach visiting your local plot.
- The National Allotment Society has this extensive guide and FAQ on keeping safe on the plot.
- Local authorities also have their own guidance when it comes to allotments, and these can be searched for here.
- This Google search on allotmenting during a lockdown will almost certainly send you down a bit of a rabbit hole.
What happens if you do not observe the rules?
As per government guidelines:
If you break the rules The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/
There we have it. I don’t know about you – but the above rules feel a lot more serious this time around.
When all of this is over, I am no doubt going to have a BBQ at the allotment with some close friends – just because I’ll be able to, and to celebrate the end as well. 🙂
Stay safe everyone and the best of luck for 2021.