Archive for January, 2008

What Is Your Allotment Worth?

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

NSALG are conducting a test to try and put a number on the worth of an allotment. They are looking for volunteers – 10 from each region of the UK – who are prepared to record the weight of what they harvest from their plots, the amount they spend on the plot and the time spent working on it. The idea is to start in March of this year and get a record for a complete year. SAGS is keen to help, we already have some members who are interested, but anyone who would be prepared to do this please get in touch with us.

For interest here is the record of a year’s work on an allotment by one of our very experienced members. It is much more detailed than is required by NSALG as it shows dates of sowing and harvesting as well as the cost of buying the equivalent in a supermarket. Also it bravely shows the failures as well as the successes.

East Lothian Develops Allotment Policy

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

East Lothian Council is taking steps to start implementing the COSLA guidelines on allotments (see http://www.sags.org.uk/docs/AllotmentsGuidance2006.pdf) A paper (see http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/CMISWebPublic/Binary.ashx?Document=7810) discussed just before Christmas sets out their current status with regard to allotments, identifies the large unmet demand for allotments and proposes a number of strategies to meet this demand, including the possibility of encouraging people with a desire to secure allotment space, to take on maintenance of current Council house gardens in cases where the tenant is unable, through age or infirmity, to maintain their own garden.

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – 26/27 January

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Scottish gardeners and allotmenteers are being asked to join half a million people across the UK in spending an hour spying on their bird neighbours to help make the 2008 Big Garden Birdwatch another record-breaking event. In 2007, more than 27,500 people took part in the survey in Scotland, helping reveal the winners and losers in the garden bird world.

The Big Garden Birdwatch aims to find out which birds are the most common visitors to UK gardens in winter. It also keeps an eye on how others are faring and produces a snapshot of winter bird populations. It’s really easy to get involved, either by taking part through the RSPB’s website www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch or by requesting a paper survey form by calling the RSPB on 0131 311 6500.

Jonathan Osborne, RSPB Scotland’s Public Affairs Manager, said: “The survey is fun , easy and only takes an hour to complete. It’s a great way for people to contribute to a significant piece of wildlife research without even having to leave the comfort of their homes.”

Participants in the Big Garden Birdwatch have made a significant contribution to monitoring garden bird numbers over the past three decades. The results highlight that some garden birds are in need of help.