Archive for June, 2012

Ticks on allotments

Friday, June 15th, 2012

A member reports picking up two ticks on her Edinburgh allotment recently.  We do not want to put anyone off the pleasures of allotment gardening, and your web master has regularly picked up ticks while bilberrying along Loch Lomondside with no ill effects.  However we feel this is a good opportunity to remind everyone about the risks, and symptoms, of Lymes Disease which can be transmitted through tick bites.

Basically if you pick up a tick you should remove it as soon as possible, and be sure to remove all the mouth parts. Tweezers work quite well, and vets and some pharmacists sell plastic gadgets for removing ticks properly.  If you then suffer from a rash or from fever you should hot foot it along to your GP and ask for advice.  Lymes disease can be very nasty if it is not treated quickly.  The following web sites give excellent advice and information:

On a similar note remember that rats can also cause nasty diseases.  Allergy to rats urine is unpleasant, as is Weil’s disease.  If rats set up home in your allotment call your local environmental health department as soon as possible.

New allotments open in Nairn

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

On 14 June Nairn Allotment Society formally opened its new 40 plot site at Sandown.  The opening was performed by the Provost of Nairn, played in by a piper.  There are now 100 plots in Nairn, a third of all the plots in the Highland region.

On 22 July the Mill Road Site will be opened to the public under the auspices of  Scotland’s Garden Scheme.  At the same time the new site at Sandown will also be open.

Help wanted with research project

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Spyros Iliakis ( is a post graduate at Edinburgh University.  Over the next three months he is doing research into the health benefits and economics of allotment gardening.  He has some information from Holland where allotmenteers were less likely to have heart attacks and thus made a saving to the health service.
Spyros needs 200 allotmenteers to answer a questionaire, all he needs is your email address and your co-operation.
SAGS will have access to his findings and can use the information to persuade Government and Local Authorities to invest in allotments as there will be a saving to the NHS.
Please reply to Spyros and please pass this on to your fellow plot holders,

SAGS at Gardening for Scotland

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Volunteers At StandSAGS is part of Scottish Natural Heritage’s Garden for Life Forum which promotes sustainable gardening.  As part of what we do, the Forum’s members have a Living Garden area at the Gardening Scotland Show near Edinburgh. Our demonstration garden was created by students of Elmwood College. This year we combined with the Edible Gardening Project at the Edinburgh Botanics and the Federa tion of City Farms and Community Gardens in a really successful double-sized stand!

It is a real pleasure to meet hundreds of people who call in and talk about their allotments and gardening generally. We were asked a wide range of questions which we did our best to answer.  We also learned about new projects around Scotland and, finally, we played Garden Organics’ Compost Game with visiting children (and some adults!).

Our thanks to SAGS members who came forward to look after the stand – I can only hope they’ve warmed up by now!!! And thanks to Mandy, our Vice-President, who provided delicious home-baking to sustain us throughout the 3 days of the Show.